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Amid Backlash, Cuomo Threatens To Give Con Ed's License To New Company

Trees remain down throughout Westchester
Trees remain down throughout Westchester Photo Credit: Contributed

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is threatening to end a 100-year-old relationship with Con Edison as thousands in Westchester remain in the dark following back-to-back storms in the past week.

Similar to what he did on Long Island following Hurricane Sandy in 2012, Cuomo is threatening to revoke Con Ed’s license, turning operations over to a different company, if they don’t pick up the pace, according to a Politico report released Friday.

“I’m not married to you, Con Edison,” Cuomo said, according to a CBS report . “I can revoke the license and the franchise and bring in something new. I’ve done it before, I’m capable of doing it again.”

Although power was restored to more than 30,000 Westchester residents overnight, according to the Con Edison Outage Map, as of 1:30 p.m. on Friday, there were still 2,449 outages reported, affecting 14,050 Con Edison customers out of the 3,323,537 the organization services. An additional 6,945 of NYSEG’s 32,806 Westchester customers are also without power. In total, 19,549 in the county remain without power, with services to be restored by 11 p.m., officials said, though Cuomo did not directly cite or threaten NYSEG, according to the report.

Con Edison’s response has led to outrage from Westchester officials, including County Executive George Latimer, who said he was “outraged at the slow and inadequate response.” Cuomo has called the response “absurd.”

“Con Edison’s management and response to Winter Storms Reilly and Quinn is unacceptable,” Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas stated.”I have told Con Ed leadership that their delivery of misleading progress reports is worse than giving us the bad news. A full accounting of what went wrong must be undertaken and Con Ed must reform its way of doing business.

“I am joining Gov. Andrew Cuomo and my fellow elected officials in calling for an immediate investigation into why Con Edison has failed to do its job in Westchester County.”

“Our women and men have restored more than 133,00 customers since Friday, and will continue working around the clock to restore customers now impacted by two devastating storms," Con Ed spokesman Mike Clendenin said in a statement. "Our focus remains on the rebuilding of heavily damaged infrastructure and getting every customer back in service.”

Power is expected to be restored to Con Edison customers no later than 11 p.m. on Sunday.

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