New Closeup: Summer of Hell and Summer of ’77


State Sen. Michael Gianaris talks about problems in the transit system as the so called “summer of hell” kicks off its first week. The phrase was created by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to describe how commuters would be confronted by six weeks of reduced service caused by track repairs at Penn Station.

Gianaris talks about the misuse of state funds which led to the transit crisis. He also discusses other issues under discussion among lawmakers in Albany.

This week marks the 40th anniversary of the NYC blackout which lasted for 25 hours and sent the city into a downward spiral of crime, looting and arson. Nine million people lost power, 4,000 had to be evacuated from the subway system. When it was over,  550-police officers were injured,  45-hundred people were arrested and damage caused by fire and other crimes cost the city more than 300-million dollars.

Con Edison chief engineer Daniel Taft talks about the circumstances that led to the 1977 blackout, why it could never happen again in the same way, and what Con Ed has done to bolster the system