Bill de Blasio

Jemal Countess / Stringer

‘Random guy in Iowa’: De Blasio takes heat for being away during blackout

July 14, 2019 - 11:57 am

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) – Mayor de Blasio is facing criticism for being in Iowa during Saturday night's major blackout in Manhattan.

The mayor was campaigning for president at an auto workers’ union hall in Waterloo when the blackout struck Saturday evening, sending 73,000 Con Edison customers into darkness.

On CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday, de Blasio said he had “the hand on the wheel” as he communicated with officials in the city.

“When you’re mayor or governor, you’re going to travel for a variety of reasons. The important thing is to have your hand on the wheel and make sure things are moving effectively and communicate to people. Even where I was, I was able to do that right away with the people in New York City,” he said.

Still, de Blasio faced criticism for being 1,000 miles away during the massive outage.

His Democratic rival, Gov. Cuomo, appeared to take a swipe at him on CNN: “I’ve been governor of New York for eight years. In that time I can count the number of times I left the state on my fingers.”

The mayor also faced criticism from people on Twitter, some of whom declared Council Speaker Corey Johnson as the “de facto mayor.”

“Mayor Corey Johnson has done a bang-up job during the last five hours. We have no idea what that random guy in Iowa is doing but good luck to him,” Nicole Gelinas tweeted.

“@CoreyinNYC is the de facto mayor tonight,” NY1 reporter Michael Scotto tweeted.

Both de Blasio and Cuomo called the blackout “unacceptable” and have called for investigations into how it happened.

Con Edison said there was a significant electrical transmission disturbance before the blackout and that its engineers and planners will be investigating in the coming weeks.

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