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Isaias: Con Ed Draws Ire Of Westchester Officials For Handling Of Tropical Storm

Con Edison has drawn the ire of some elected officials in Westchester as thousands remain without power as the utility company works to recover from Tropical Storm Isaias.
Con Edison has drawn the ire of some elected officials in Westchester as thousands remain without power as the utility company works to recover from Tropical Storm Isaias. Photo Credit: Con Edison

Con Edison has drawn the ire of some elected officials in Westchester as thousands remain without power as the utility company works to recover from Tropical Storm Isaias.

Though crews are working around the clock to make repairs following the devastating storm, more than 70,000 of Con Edison’s 360,045 customers remain without power, with some possibly not being able to turn the lights back on until Monday, Aug. 10.

As of 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 6, 70,376 of Con Ed’s 360,045 Westchester customers were still reporting outages as crews responded to 4,853 outages.

In a statement, Con Edison confirmed that power should be restored to all customers no later than Sunday, Aug. 9.

“We understand your frustration in this difficult time, but please know that we are working as quickly as we can to safely restore power to all customers," the company said. "We anticipate we will finish restoring power to the vast majority of customers who lost service during the storm by Sunday night.”

Con Edison held a conference call on Thursday, Aug. 6 with elected officials in Westchester, though Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner said Con Ed is not providing local officials with estimated times when specific sections of locations will be restored.

“They indicated that most people will have power back on by Sunday,” Feiner said. “But also mentioned that there will be others who will not get their power back on (until) sometime next week.”

Many have taken to social media to criticize Con Ed for a lack of presence in their hometowns and a lack of cohesive communication between the utility company and its customers.

Due to the lack of response from Con Ed, municipalities have been using essential service workers, DPW crews, and first responders to help clear trees and expedite the recovery from the storm.

“It's frustrating because most people haven't seen any Con Ed trucks responding to the outages,” Feiner said. “Con Ed does not answer to local governments. Con Ed makes the decisions of how many crews will be sent to each community and when restoration will begin.”

Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano echoed Feiner’s sentiment, questioning whether anyone has seen Con Edison in the state’s fourth-largest city.

“After Hurricane Sandy, you would think utility companies would come to terms that this is a new climate we face,” he said. “Con Ed was not prepared for Tropical Storm Isaias, and (Westchester) is left to feel the devastating effects it’s had on our communities.”

Feiner said that Con Ed was “unprepared,” and did not have enough crews to respond to the fallout from the storm.

“Con Ed should have had crews from out of state available as soon as they heard that a storm was coming to our area,” he said. “Every time there is an outage the same thing happens: Con Ed is blamed for being unprepared.

“New York State conducts an investigation. And the next time there is a major storm the same thing happens. I join those who believe  the Department of Public Service and the state should break up the Con Ed monopoly.”

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