NEW YORK — Queens may be one of New York City’s less glamorous boroughs. But following the drama of Thursday evening’s storms, Broadway is not the only venue shrouded in a mist of theatricality. With 8,500 Queens residents still without power at noon on Saturday, Con Edison employees handed out dry ice in three locations to ensure residents could keep food cool.
Singing along to "Wicked" when reaching for the milk carton remains optional.
Dry ice is not the only Oz parallel. While Hurricane Earl passed New York City earlier this month not with a bang but a whimper, two tornadoes touched down in Brooklyn and Queens around 5:30 p.m. Thursday. The twin twisters are two of only ten tornadoes recorded for NYC in the past 60 years.
FEMA officials are surveying the 14-mile path of destruction, which includes Staten Island, to determine whether the area should be declared a disaster area.
Alfonso Quiroz, a Con Edison employee, told NY1 News that 45,000 city residents were without power immediately following the storm. The 8,500 still in the dark live primarily in the Queens neighborhoods of Flushing, Rego Park and Mayspeth.
Con Edison is advising dry ice recipients use caution and wear gloves when handling the substance, which can cause frostbite at its -109.3°F temperature. Children and animals should be kept away from the substance, which evaporates into carbon dioxide gas.
Barring, of course, the ubiquitous witches’ brew for trick-or-treaters on Halloween.
For more information on handling dry ice, download this New York Department of Health brochure.