Latimer Blasts Con Ed, Nyseg For 'Disgusting,' Slow Response To Storm

This story has been updated.

A tree blocks  Ethelridge Road in White Plains on Saturday, knocking out power to nearby homes.
A tree blocks Ethelridge Road in White Plains on Saturday, knocking out power to nearby homes. Photo Credit: Provided

Westchester County Executive George Latimer expressed his "disgust" on Monday at the slow response by Con Edison and New York State Electric & Gas to the tens of thousands of utility company customers still without power after a devastating Nor'easter storm struck on Friday, as reported here by Daily Voice.

The storm prompted Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New Castle to declare a state of emergency throughout the Hudson Valley including Putnam and Westchester counties. Another Nor-easter bringing six to 12 inches of snow, is forecast to reach this region on Wednesday. 

Latimer said, “Days after Winter Storm Riley thousands of Westchester residents are still sleeping in cold homes with no lights and downed power lines right outside their doors. I find this disgusting. 

"I am outraged at both Con Edison and NYSEG’s slow and inadequate response. On Sunday, I expressed doubt that NYSEG would be able to meet their timeline of restoring power by Monday night – unfortunately I was correct. Today, NYSEG pushed back their timetable to 11:45 p.m. Tuesday. The people of Westchester, who pay both Con Edison and NYSEG for their services, deserve better,"" Latimer said.

"I’m calling on both companies to bring in more crews, and have their workers work around the clock to restore power to the people of Westchester."

Carl A. Taylor, president and CEO of NYSEG, said, "This significant winter storm caused a substantial amount of damage. We understand that any amount of time without power is an inconvenience to our customers."

And Con Edison spokesman Alfonso Quiroz told the utility company knows this storm has really tested our customers' patience -- and that its workers are trying to restore power as quickly as possible.

Latimer said his county staff contacted John Rhodes,  chairman of the state Public Service Commission, to ask for an investigation of both Con Edison and NYSEG’s response to the storm.

"Additionally, my team is already taking steps to prepare for the additional storm that is set to hit Westchester Wednesday evening," Latimer said.

"To county residents, if you do have power I am asking you to please offer your home, a hot meal or a shower to family, friends and neighbors. To those county residents without power, please keep your chin up – I, along with my team, are working day and night to advocate for you," Latimer said.

Earlier, NYSEG issued this response: "There are more than 1,200 personnel responding to the storm statewide and additional resources traveling to the most affected areas. Crews and contractors, including additional resources from Maine and Canada, are committed to continue to work 17-hour shifts and throughout the night on restoration efforts in the Brewster and Liberty areas until all customers are restored. Employees are working diligently on the priority of first making conditions safe in the area, and then restoring power as quickly as possible."

NYSEG CEO Taylor added, "We appreciate our customers’ patience as our crews work to restore power safely and as quickly as possible.”

Greenburgh Supervisor Paul Feiner issued this update to town residents on Tuesday morning: "There are still many people out of power. I hope that Con Ed will keep their promise to restore almost everyone back by 11 p.m. today."

"The town is working hard. Our public works team worked last night with a Con Ed crew. We currently have three brush crews out, one with Con Ed. A tree crew is out. I have been forwarding all outage complaints to Con Ed and public works. We are expecting 10-12 inches of snow tomorrow and are also loading the trucks with salt and putting the plows on," Feiner said.

"I am also working to help those with cable related problems. This is not as big a problem as having no power but some people depend on internet access if they work at home. I have reached out to the cable companies and their executive offices and hope that they will restore power to their customers," Feiner added. "Con Ed advised me that they expect crews from around the country to serve our area today. so if you're out of power don't get discouraged."

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