Westchester County Legislators Peter Harckham, D-Katonah, and Michael Kaplowitz, D-Somers, are the latest local officials to express frustration with “the lack of information and the less-than-impressive restoration efforts” by power companies in the wake of Hurricane Irene.
New York State Electric & Gas and Con Edison crews have raised the ire of several Yorktown officials for delays in restoring power to thousands of residents.
“I understand the magnitude of the disaster we are dealing with,” Harckham said in a press release Tuesday. “However, I am disappointed with the lack of communication between NYSEG and the municipalities. Con Edison has at least provided ‘municipal liaisons’ to work on-site with the Supervisors and their key personnel, which facilitates necessary communication.”
Kaplowitz, who chairs the County Board’s Environment & Energy Committee, agreed added, ”There is no reason that two days after the storm NYSEG cannot properly communicate with elected officials, and provide some real information such as how many crews they have in each town and why it could take until next week to restore some residents.”
Both say they have been fielding dozens of calls from residents and local officials complaining of downed polls, lack of dry ice, lengthy outages and no answers. They have spent the last two days at senior citizen apartment complexes and local town halls, in attempts to facilitate some relief and provide answers.
As of this morning, Con Ed is reporting 18,489 outages in Westchester County; NYSEG reports 25,716 in Westchester and Putnam.
State Sen. Greg Ball, R — Patterson, will call for a Senate investigation into poor response times and communication failures on Saturday at a press conference in Putnam Valley.
“This is not a third-world country,” said Ball. “These companies need to begin to more immediately respond to abandoned customers, struggling for basic answers and information. A suggestion of two weeks without service is unacceptable and begs for an independent hearing and investigation into New York’s apparent inability to recover and respond.”