NYSEG under fire for outage response times

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YORKTOWN -

State Sen. Terrence Murphy is demanding the Public Service Commission force NYSEG to improve its power outage response practices after a series of outages in the Hudson Valley that had prolonged recovery times.

"I don't think they have an inkling of the damage they did with their lack of response," says Valerie, a disabled Yorktown resident who lost power and heat for eight days this spring and couldn't operate her chair lift.

She says she nearly froze to death and wore thermal clothing to survive. Furthermore, she says, NYSEG is refusing to reimburse her for spoiled food and other outage-related expenses.

"About $2,800, and that's money I can ill-afford," she says.

Con Edison, another utility company, has reimbursed customers for such expenses.

Yorktown Supervisor Ilan Gilbert says people have come to expect poor response times from NYSEG -- but this year the consequences were worse.

"We had the National Guard make wellness checks for people who were literally freezing in their homes," he says.

For its part, NYSEG told News 12 it is "committed to meeting our customers' expectations."

Sen. Murphy's office says that if the Public Service Commission doesn't do something about NYSEG, he'll ask the state to yank its license.

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