Home Energy Con Edison, NYSEG scramble to restore power amid criticism

Con Edison, NYSEG scramble to restore power amid criticism


Crews from Consolidated Edison were still at work today trying to restore power in Westchester County following a weekend nor’easter that caused the fifth largest outage in the company’s nearly 200-year history.

westchester Con Ed NYSEG power outageThe utility said that it had restored electricity to about 90,500 of the 132,000 customers who lost power. Many of those customers have had no electricity since Friday. Con Edison said the total without power should diminish significantly through Monday, with the “vast majority” of the county able to turn its lights back on by late Tuesday night.

NYSEG, meanwhile, said Sunday night that it expects the 20,100 customers it has in Westchester without power to be restored late Monday night. NYSEG provides electricity for parts of northern Westchester, including North Salem, Somers, Yorktown and Bedford.

The worst of the storm hit the lower Hudson Valleyon  Friday, bringing sustained winds above 30 mph, which at times gusted above 60 mph. The winter storm’s mix of wind, rain and snow left more than 360,000 New Yorkers without power at its peak.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo declared states of emergency on Sunday in Westchester, Putnam, Sullivan and Dutchess counties. More than three-quarters of the 182,000 New Yorkers without power at the time Cuomo declared the emergency lived in the four Hudson Valley counties.

A number of municipalities – stretching from Yorktown to Bronxville and Pelham – declared local states of emergency. County Executive George Latimer declared a state of emergency for the whole county on Sunday.

power outage ConEd NYSEG
Westchester County Executive George Latimer declared a state of emergency for the county.

Latimer joined several other local elected officials in criticism of the storm response from the county’s utilities. The county executive wrote on Facebook that public ire should be directed at utilities that he said were unprepared.

“Anger directed at your Mayor, Council, Supervisor … is misplaced,” Latimer wrote. “They cannot direct utility resources. Your anger is valid but it must be directed to the leadership of the utilities who did not plan for this disaster. I know as fact every official has been on numerous calls with the utilities literally screaming at them for attention for their towns.”

Con Edison said today that it has almost 1,000 people involved in line repair, site safety and other restoration efforts. The company has also called in more than 400 mutual aid workers from as far away as Canada, Texas and Wisconsin.

“The company is in touch with elected and school officials in Westchester for input on areas that should be given priority,” read the statement from Con Edison. “Crews first focus on repairs that provide power to the most customers and to critical facilities, such as hospitals, municipal pumping stations and schools. Then they move on and make repairs to restore smaller groups and individual customers.”

About 100 National Guard members and 30 vehicles from Camp Smith in Cortlandt Manor were deployed Saturday to help clear debris and control traffic, according to the governor’s office. Crews from the state Department of Transportation are helping local government crews with debris removal and other storm cleanup. The state has deployed more than 1,000 operators and supervisors, close to 400 dump trucks, 23 wood chippers and 91 loaders, among other equipment, according to Cuomo’s office.

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