As thousands of Westchester residents remain without power with a second winter storm looming, New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson called Con Edison’s reaction to the weekend Nor’easter a “fiasco,” lambasting the company, which has come under fire from area representatives.
Following the Nor’easter on Friday, which saw 70 mph wind gusts that sent trees and power lines flying, causing havoc in the Hudson Valley, there are still 2,130 outages in Westchester, affecting 9,027 Con Edison customers, according to the Outage Map.
An additional 1,524 NYSEG customers remain without power out of their 32,806 customers.
With more than 1,500 people in his city still without power - and a foot of snow expected on Wednesday - Bramson said he got into a “heated, profanity-laced conversation with a Con Edison last night,” to “channel the frustration that so many (Westchester) residents are feeling at the moment.”
“The specific topic of last night’s outburst was the utility’s failure to clear fallen power lines from a major road, after having pledged repeatedly to do so,” he stated in a lengthy post.
“But lots of other failures could have stood in: the laughably unrealistic repair schedule estimates, the inability or unwillingness to provide real-time tracking of restoration crews to Con Ed’s own municipal representatives, the repeated, false statements from Con Ed reps claiming that public works crews must clear branches before the utility can repair electrical wires - it’s the other way around - and, above all, the shocking inadequacy of resources, which makes progress painfully slow.
“A fiasco on every level, with only the hard and dedicated work of the line crews and muni-reps offering some measure of balance to the atrocious command and control.”
On Tuesday, Westchester County Executive George Latimer joined the cacophony of voices clamoring for answers and an update from Hudson Valley utility companies.
"I am outraged at both Con Edison and NYSEG’s slow and inadequate response,” he said. “On Sunday, I expressed doubt that NYSEG would be able to meet their timeline of restoring power by Monday night – unfortunately, I was correct. Today, NYSEG pushed back their timetable to 11:45 p.m. Tuesday. The people of Westchester, who pay both Con Edison and NYSEG for their services, deserve better.”
"“There is no disagreement that Winter Storm Riley caused widespread damage to utility infrastructure, leading to severe power outages across Westchester," Congresswoman Nita Lowey added. "My staff and I have been in close contact with constituents who have lost power and remain without it, power companies, and elected officials, and continued outages are absolutely unacceptable. I fully support Governor Cuomo’s directive for the NYS Department of Public Service to investigate the response to the power outages caused by the storm."
In response, Con Edison CEO John McAvoy stated that “1,700 of our people and mutual aid workers (are) in the field, planning and executing the work to get your lights back on and power flowing. We have crews who have come to help us from as far away as Wisconsin, Texas and Canada, who are joining us in working around the clock.”
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