Over a weekend of temperatures well into the 90s, New Yorkers' electricity usage hit a record high, DNAInfo reports. By 4 pm on Saturday—when the heat climbed to 96 degrees but felt more like 110 thanks to humidity—Con Ed reported an all-time weekend weekend high of megawatts provided to customers in NYC and Westchester, who were understandably blasting their air conditioners and fans to cope.
The peak usage led to power outages in some neighborhoods. Per CBS, about 1,000 Con Ed customers were in the dark on Sunday evening, and some took to city buses to cool down; as of Monday, the energy company's outage map revealed only a handful of power failures scattered across the boroughs.
But the outages could continue, the Wall Street Journal says. To prevent the city's electrical grid from getting overloaded, the mayor's office asked that New Yorkers keep their A/Cs set to 78 degrees and try to keep cool by using lower-tech methods or heading to air conditioned buildings. (One option is to visit any of the cooling centers throughout New York that are open to the public.)
Temperatures are expected to dip ever so slightly by Tuesday to the high 80s, providing some relief, but you probably won't notice much of a difference on subway platforms. DNAInfo measured the temperature in 17 different stations; at Times Square, it apparently felt like 111.2 degrees.
No surprise, then, that the New York Times wrote back in July that 2016 looked like it would be the third year in a row of record high temperatures worldwide. Also worrying: AdaptNY recently spoke to a retired Con Ed engineer who described the electricity system as being "on the verge of collapse" due to aging infrastructure and the increasing frequency of days of extreme heat.
So how should New Yorkers cope in the meantime? The Times ran a list of suggestions last month, including "drink a slushie." See you at 7-11?
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