Utility companies in New York are being investigated after Tropical Storm Isaias tore through the state, leaving tens of thousands without power a day later.
Hundreds of thousands of power outages were reported throughout the state when the storm struck on Tuesday, Aug. 4, leaving thousands in the dark a day later, with some restoration efforts not expected to be complete until the weekend.
The Department of Public Service will probe storm planning and response by Verizon, PSEG Long Island, Con Edison, Central Hudson Gas & Electric, Orange and Rockland Utilities, and New York State Electric & Gas, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday, Aug. 5.
Following the storm, there were reports that many were unable to get in touch with their utility companies or successfully report an outage, leaving some in a lurch as they waited without information on when they could expect to turn the lights back on.
In response, Cuomo is directing the state Department of Public Service to investigate utilities for their “failed storm response.”
“We know that severe weather is our new reality and the reckless disregard by utility companies to adequately plan for tropical storm Isaias left tens of thousands of customers in the dark, literally and figuratively,” he said in a statement. “Their performance was unacceptable.
“The large volume of outages and the utilities' failure to communicate with customers in real-time proves they did not live up to their legal obligations,” Cuomo added. “The fact that many customers still do not know when their power will be restored makes it even more unacceptable.
“The worst of this situation was avoidable, and it cannot happen again.”
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