Con Ed crew: 'This is worse than Hurricane Sandy'Posted: Updated:
Outrage grew Monday as tens of thousands of Hudson Valley homes remained without power after Friday's nor'easter.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has deployed over 200 members of the New York National Guard to assist recovery efforts as he declared a state of emergency in Dutchess, Putnam, Sullivan and Westchester counties.
Utility companies say they are working around the clock to restore power. One Con Ed crew told News 12 that the situation was “worse than Hurricane Sandy.” Both NYSEG and Con Edison say that power should be restored to 90 percent of their customers by Tuesday night. Both county and local officials are skeptical of that estimation.
Westchester County Executive George Latimer is putting the blame for the massive outages on Con Edison and NYSEG for dropping the ball after the nor'easter hit with wind gusts above 60 mph. “I certainly believe the two utilities were not prepared for this,” says Latimer. Latimer says the utility companies made calls for mutual aid only after the storm hit, calls which he says should have gone out Thursday at the latest.
County legislator Mary Jane Shimsky echoing the executive that utility companies must be held accountable for tens of thousands of homes still in the dark. “I'm infuriated with what's going on with post storm response,” says Shimsky. “I plan to meet with some of my colleagues in the state legislature to talk about the kind of regulations and legislations we might need to require Con Ed to make sure these things are handled properly.”
The mayors of Westchester's two biggest cities agree. “I think Con Ed knew about this storm for a week before like we all did. And I think one of the things we have to focus on later is why it took so long to have a response.” Says Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano. “The public has the right to know exactly where things stand,” adds Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas.
Dozens of school districts are closed because many roads are still dangerous due to downed trees and traffic lights that aren’t working.
Local and county officials are urging residents without power to warm up and charge phones and laptops at warming centers across the county.
Officials say residents should call the non-emergency line of their local police station to find the closest warming center.