Power Fully Restored to Knickerbocker Village

knickerbocker villageJoann Pan

Power has been fully restored to Knickerbocker Village, the Lower East Side housing complex where low-income residents — many of them elderly — remained in the dark long after service was restored to their neighbors.

Electricity flowed into the last of the complex’s 1,600 units at 4 p.m. today, ending a “painstaking process that involved rebuilding circuits and other equipment destroyed by the East River salt water,” a statement said.

The complex’s 12 buildings aren’t fully back to normal: many units are still without heat (it’s expected to return fully tomorrow or Saturday), hot water is in limited supply (it too will be fully restored by Saturday), and “a small handful of units” might still be without power if they weren’t plugged into the main circuit properly. In addition, there may be outages of several hours as “electrical service is weaned off the temporary generators and back onto Con Edison’s grid,” the statement said.

Last Friday, The Local reported that residents such as 104-year-old Margaret Zomzely were living in the dark and cold, as only 450 of the complex’s 1,600 units had regained electricity, and none had heat. One of those residents, 101-year-old Pao Chu Hsieh, died during the blackout, The Times reported. By Tuesday, power had been restored to all but 400 units.

That day, James Simmons, Vice President of Knickerbocker Village, Inc., told residents they wouldn’t have to pay rent for the days they were without essential services. “Discussions between building management and various elected officials and governing bodies will determine how that will occur, with credits on future rent among the processes under consideration,” today’s statement said.