Oil spills into East River after Con Ed transformer failure

May11 Con Ed

Con Ed substation in Manhattan (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

A failure of equipment at a Con Ed substation in Brooklyn has led to a so far unknown amount of oil to leak into the East River.

The U.S. Coast Guard has been responding to the problem since it was reported on Sunday afternoon, though as of Tuesday afternoon, it was unclear if the substance, dielectric fluid, was still leaking into the river in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

The fluid, which is used to insulate transformer cables, is a kind of mineral oil, so “It’s not like sludge or petroleum,” said Coast Guard Public Affairs Chief Warrant Officer Allyson Conroy. However, she added, “It’s still not native to the environment it’s leeching into.”

Additionally, while the Coast Guard is not aware of just how much of the oil has been spilled so far, she referred to the failure of a Con Ed transformer that led to the incident as “catastrophic.

“The transformer is caput,” she added.

Continue reading


Stuy Town kid calls 911, keeps his cool when dad has violent spasm

Dylan and Terence Hoey (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Dylan and Terence Hoey (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

For Stuyvesant Town resident Terence Hoey, intense and unpredictable spasms, as well as crippling back pain, are simply facts of life. They’re both a result of chronic condition resulting from a back injury, which, on a recent morning, sent Hoey to the hospital for emergency treatment.

“People who have lower back pain — that’s a joy compared to what a spasm does to your body,” Hoey said in a recent conversation with Town & Village. And on the morning of Wednesday, March 18th, the day he went to the hospital, Hoey had about 50.

Hoey, who has since recovered from March 18th incident, said it was fortunate that his nine-year-old son, Dylan, was around at the time when he began having a spasm. Dylan, he said, called 911, when he was completely unable, due to feeling like he was going to pass out.

Hoey added that the severe spasms he had in the shower came just three days after another emergency hospital visit. That time, he’d been out of town with his family and a friend was the one to call 911 for his spasms. The more recent time, however, he was back home, and Dylan was the only other person at home when Hoey called out for help.

He recalled how, despite the pain, he managed to climb out of the shower. Dylan, a third grader at Immaculate Conception, quickly rushed to his dad’s side.

Hoey then instructed him to call 911. When Dylan asked if he should use his cell or the apartment phone, his father told him to use the apartment phone.

Dylan then did as instructed but soon found himself in the somewhat frustrating position of having to explain Stuyvesant Town’s street layout, specifically the lack of cross streets, to the 911 operator. “And that’s the first thing they ask you,” said Hoey. “Dylan said, ‘I’ll say it again, there are no cross streets, I’m telling you.’ I could almost hear him saying, ‘Google it.’”

Continue reading