RIOC’s Credibility Took a Jaw-Dropping Jolt After Another AVAC Failure

RIOC’s Credibility Took a Jaw-Dropping Jolt After Another AVAC Failure

RIOC’s credibility took a hit on Saturday, the first weekend in October 2022. No, the dog did not eat their homework, but it was damn close. Their “AVAC plant was struck by lightning,” they said.

Imagine jaw drops here.

The trouble was, nobody saw it, and not a single lightning strike was recorded within hundreds of miles of New York. It was an all-new low in evading accountability. When you can’t even lie well, you should not be in government.

by David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

The Full, Tortured Message

Saturday at 4:38 p.m., RIOC’s Advisory System blasted out this:

Roosevelt Island Community,

Just after noon today, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation’s (RIOC) AVAC plant was struck by lightning affecting the power and data supply.  Key areas affected include the garbage collection service.

RIOC is working to notify the vendor to resume operations.  Residents can expect to receive a full update on garbage collection services early next week.  Critical updates will be delivered via email, text and social media as information is received.

Beyond the fact that no official resource recorded lightning strikes anywhere within a hundred miles, there were other problems.

“I did not see lighting and I was in Astoria at noon thru 5:00 today. Unfortunately they always need an excuse because it’s never their fault.”

A local observer.

Some Roosevelt Island complexes had been out for a couple of days already. Others, remarkably, were doing just fine, their AVAC chutes open and working.

Time for some daring photography, checking out the exclusive RIOC lightning strike.

RIOC’s Credibility in Pictures

According to RIOC, a crafty, invisible lightning bolt angled around Manhattan Park’s 20-story tower at 40 River Road and took a left turn, narrowly avoiding Motorgate, while seeking out the AVAC building.

So, a good look around was in order.

But it was also in vain.

The AVAC facility bore no signs of a lightning strike. No burn marks, no dents, not one hazard warning sign. But that couldn’t be the full picture. If RIOC’s credibility had any weight at all, I was missing something.

So, I went around back to the loading area. Once open, the space is now fenced off, but you can see the whole area cleanly.

Hm. No sign of a lightning strike there.

What was I missing?

Maybe it was a plot against RIOC, something to make them look silly because, around the side, all traces of the lightning strike were absent. Maybe they got wiped off by pranksters? You had to wonder with that 1950’s style TV antenna stuck on the roof. How did it, as the highest point on the building, made of metal, evade the bolt of electrical juice?

But let’s be fair and have one last look.

But nothing special here on the glass-walled rear of the facility, except of course the lack of maintenance. The lights were on. There was nothing to see.

A Miracle Cure?

“OMG! This sounds terrible, especially given the incompetents running the show.  Fortunately for the island, it’s not as hot anymore, because I doubt that they will be able to remove garbage with any level of efficiency, and who knows when they will fix the problem.”

Another local observer.

But anyone concerned about Roosevelt Islanders need not worry any longer.

Sunday morning at 10:31, RIOC’s brain trust dispatched yet another Advisory:

Dear Roosevelt Island Community, the RIOC AVAC plant is now fully operational. The garbage collection service has been restored. Thank you for your understanding and patience. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.” 


RIOC’s credibility took a big hit this weekend, and fortunately, the AVAC did not really take a lightning strike in the head. Someone might have, though.

But unfortunately, the same deep thinkers who managed this clown show are still in charge.

It’s easy passing this off as a new public relations guy trapped in the standard RIOC practice of dodging responsibility for any bad news. It’s always either a lightning strike, the dog or, with the AVAC, stupid residents jamming up the works.

The only surprising thing is that they are still getting away with it. Thank you, once again, Governor Hochul.

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