Sen. Schumer pushes utilities for outage alerts

After a freak October snowstorm walloped the Northeast and knocked out power to millions, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is calling on utility companies to keep their customers in the loop. The senator has proposed a bill that would require utility companies to implement text and email alert systems. This way, he says, customers could get alerts about the status of their outages and estimated restoration times on their cell phones. Some critics say electronic alerts are useless if the power is out, when computers can't be switched on and cell phones can't be charged. Still, customers say they'd rather have alert systems than be left in the dark entirely. Schumer says he's spoken with New York power companies about the plan and has met resistance. He says he'll keep pushing for the bill to become a law.Local lawmakers call for probe into power outagesRockland residents fuming over power outagesRepair crews working overtime to restore power

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