Tropical Storm Isaias knocked out power to nearly half of Rockland County residents, some of whom may be without power for around a week in a weather event that's been compared to Superstorm Sandy.
More than 100,000 of Orange & Rockland Utilities’ 301,917 customers were still in the dark as of 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 5, as crews worked to repair 2,785 reported active outages.
Rockland County Executive Ed Day said that the tropical storm took an unexpected turn, with it bringing damaging winds approaching 80 mph, not the heavy rain that had previously been forecast.
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Day called the damage done by Isaias “devastating and is second in my mind only to what we suffered during Superstorm Sandy,” and said that the damage could leave some without power upwards of a week.
“After taking part in a conference call with Orange and Rockland Utilities today it is clear that we all must prepare for the worst,” he said. “Isaias did major damage to Orange & Rockland’s transmission infrastructure and as you all have seen there is wide-spread damage in our county.
“Orange & Rockland made clear on the call that this will be a multi-day event and it is possible that residents will be without power here for as much as a week.”
According to Day, Orange & Rockland will be prioritizing adult care facilities in an attempt to keep the county’s elderly population away from the heat. He also called on the utility company to “step up their game.”
“The county, towns, and villages have already accomplished much; clearing downed trees and reopening roads but we cannot proceed any further unless we are working in concert with Orange & Rockland technicians,” he added. “We all stand ready to assist but their level of staffing was inadequate to deal with the effects of this storm. Orange & Rockland needs to step up their game immediately.”
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