Updated from 10:45 a.m. EDT

An extended blackout in the Queens section of New York City became a political nightmare for Consolidated Edison ( ED) and its chief executive, Kevin Burke.

Local politicians took to the airwaves to lambaste the utility and Burke, who became CEO in May 2005. "The time for explanations and apologies is over," said U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley, according to the New York Times. Crowley said the blackout had reached "disastrous proportions."

Mayor Michael Bloomberg broke with the critics, saying Burke was owed thanks for his efforts.

As of Monday morning, Con Edison said power had been restored to about 22,400 of the 25,000 customers who lost electricity in northwestern Queens last week. Utility repair workers are concentrating on a network of underground feeder cables that apparently blew out during heavy rain.

In a news conference Sunday, Burke, 54, said the company is working "street by street" to restore service. He repeated an apology to affected customers, saying, "We are not happy with what is happening out there, but we are doing our best to get the lights back," according to the Times.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg praised Burke, saying Con Edison had promised a report on the blackout within two weeks. It will cover "specifically what happened; to find out specifically why it happened is going to take longer," he said.

"Kevin Burke deserves a thanks from this city," Bloomberg said at a press conference Monday. "He's worked as hard as he can, every single day. I don't think I could've gone in and done any better."

"Going after the CEO just because somebody wants to have somebody to blame doesn't make a lot of sense," Bloomberg said.

Other politicians, including State Assemblyman Michael Gianaris, called for Burke's head.

"Kevin Burke has presided over a company that has failed the people of Queens, lied to the people of New York about how bad it was and put people's lives in danger," Gianaris told the Times.

In midday trading, shares of Con Ed were down 14 cents to $46.66.

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