NY leaders urge: Declare blackout a disaster

A group of political leaders urged Governor George Pataki to designate a section of New York City suffering from a prolonged power failure a disaster area, making it eligible for federal aid. "Anywhere else it would be," Rep. Joe Crowley said Sunday at a news conference in the New York City borough of Queens, which officials often complain is overlooked. "If this were an area of 100,000 people in upstate New York, the governor would have declared it a disaster area." A spokeswoman for Pataki, Joanna Rose, said the governor has spoken with Mayor Michael Bloomberg and offered any assistance necessary. The utility whose damaged lines are causing the trouble, Consolidated Edison, also bears a burden, she said.