New Measure Backed By Yonkers Lawmaker Forces NY Companies To Prioritize Fixing Downed Wires

A new law signed by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul will force utility companies in the state to quickly respond to downed wires reported by members of the public. 

High winds downed trees and utility wires.

High winds downed trees and utility wires.

Photo Credit: Goldens Bridge Fire Department

The legislation, which was announced on Wednesday, Nov. 22, will protect residents during storms by requiring utility companies to respond to reports of downed wires no later than 72 hours after the response to the emergency event ends, according to Hochul. 

Before the new law was signed, power companies were only required to have a plan to secure a wire on a schedule if it was reported by a municipal emergency official. 

"A downed power line isn't just an inconvenience -- it poses significant safety risks to New Yorkers," Hochul said, adding, "Consumers should be able to report downed power lines to their utility company, and we're making sure that happens in the safest, fastest possible way." 

The law was carried in the New York Assembly by Assemblymember Nader Sayegh, who represents District 90 which includes much of Yonkers.  

"By broadening the authority for reporting downed wires to include municipal emergency officials and individuals, we are empowering our communities to swiftly alert electric and utility companies," Sayegh said of the law. 

He continued, "This measure enhances our emergency response plans, prioritizing public safety and the well-being of New Yorkers." 

New York State Sen. Shelley B. Mayer, who represents parts of Westchester, also commented on the law, saying, "Our neighbors are frequently the first to identify downed wires, and now they will have a meaningful opportunity to make sure their concerns are heard." 

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