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Astorino: Con Ed Not Diverting Resources

Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino said in a statement Wednesday that Consolidated Edison officials have promised not to divert resources from Westchester to New York City.

Consolidated Edison CEO Kevin Burke has given his assurance that workers will not be diverted from Westchester into other regions hit by Hurricane Sandy, Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino said Wednesday.

The county executive announced Wednesday that he met with Burke as well as NYSEG CEO Mark Lynch to discuss the recovery effort following Hurricane Sandy.

“We have been assured that Con Edison is not diverting any resources from Westchester to New York City or other parts of the region. We will hold the company to its promise.”

Consolidated Edison is tasked with restoring power to hundreds of thousands of people from Westchester to lower Manhattan and Queens. The utility company reported Wednesday that 176,000 Westchester customers remained without power. That number was down only 7,000 from the day before. NYSEG reported restoring power to only a few hundred customers since Tuesday.

The company leaders told Astorino that the storm damaged critical substations and transmission lines and that repairs must be made to those areas first. Both companies have also struggled to reach affected areas because of downed trees and other debris.

“Our biggest priority is working with Con Edison and NYSEG to get power restored and to assist our municipalities in removing the fallen trees,” Astorino said.

Hospitals, nursing homes and other critical-care companies that have been without power since Monday will be the highest priority, Astorino said.

Astorino, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand toured the region during a helicopter flyover Wednesday. Astorino said the tour revealed extensive damage and power outages throughout Westchester County. The officials also toured some of the areas hardest hit by floods, including parts of Long Island and Breezy Point, Queens.

“While other communities suffered more substantial flood damage, Westchester was hardest hit by downed trees that are blocking hundreds of streets in our county," Astorino said.

More than 48 hours after the worst of the storm passed through the region, Astorino said the county's emergency operations center also remains active around the clock and that conference calls with local municipalities will continue on a daily basis.

Astorino also said he is confident that the county will qualify for federal disaster relief through FEMA. The county must document about $3.2 million to qualify for federal relief while the entire state must accrue about $25 million in damage.

“There’s no doubt we will be able to meet that threshold for a disaster declaration,” Astorino said. “We are working with our municipal partners to assemble the information we need.”

Michele November 01, 2012 at 07:43 PM
In an earlier article today, Susan Carpenter said that New Castle had only one ConEd crew assigned to it and that we are waiting for reenforcements. New Castle has had only one crew assigned to it? What happened to the rest? No wonder we still have 5000 out of power.
susan joseph November 01, 2012 at 11:02 PM
If Con Ed is so overwhelmed, why aren't they hiring additional crews from all over the country to come and help?
Gail F November 01, 2012 at 11:08 PM
where oh where can Con Ed be, Where oh where can they be There not in WestChester as far as I can see !
John v November 01, 2012 at 11:32 PM
Was watching Tv at a friends house he has a generator. Ti WA Chang. Was reporting from greenburg. Went on record to say COned was sending their resources to NYC first Astorino could have kissed us first
Jdr November 01, 2012 at 11:57 PM
November 10 is just unacceptable. Time to start burying the lines. The cost of repair after every outage has to outweigh the cost to bury the lines over the long haul. This is an antiquated and dangerous way to do business. Mr Astorino start making some noise to Con Ed.
G.D.J November 02, 2012 at 04:03 AM
I found this site when searching Rye, New York, because my son was sent your way from TN. Along with several other crews; even from Texas. From what he told me they will be there tom. Believe when I tell you most on these men work very hard and work very very long hours. And of course it's very dangerous work. They do have to stop and sleep and eat too. Please be nice and appreciate what they are doing. Im sure your local men are doing the best they can too. Yes they are getting paid, but please try and understand how hard they do work and how far they have come to help. My husband is a lineman also, a non union lineman, if that makes a difference. He is a very hard worker and they have to be extremely safe. in this field of work you have to work diligently but also be very careful. I know it's hard, we had a terrible winter storm back in 1993; I think that was the year. Anyway it was almost 2 weeks before we had power, but we made it through and you will too. So many of us are praying for you all. God bless.
Cold at Home November 02, 2012 at 05:35 AM
i was told by Greenburgh Town Supervisor, Paul Feiner that the Town of Greenburgh had two Con Ed crews assigned to the entire town and the remainder was dispatched to NYC. Somebody needs to "man-up" and tell the truth bout what's going on in Westchester
joshua tanner November 02, 2012 at 05:55 AM
Gov Cuomo threatened all the utility execs if they didn't perform. Of course they are going to go to NYC first. NYC generates the wealth more than Peekskill does. Btw I think Cuomo was just covering his own butt threatening utility execs Gov. Cuomo threatens to dump utility companies if preparations fell short http://newyork.newsday.com/news/sandy-aftermath-gov-cuomo-threatens-to-dump-utility-companies-if-preparations-fell-short-1.4176193?qr=1
Fred November 02, 2012 at 09:07 AM
We should expect responsive service from our utilities, but this is an extraordinary situation in scope and resources are understandably stretched; we can rail about it however the conditions are nothing new for some segment of the population every time a big storm occurs and trees fall. This happened last Halloween with the snow fall, etc. and is a predictable pattern. Hence, individual homeowners are not absolved from the responsibility of doing whatever they need to prepare to endure such situations; if you chose not to buy a generator, etc. than that was your choice to put your fate in someone else's hands. I am in that same boat without power in Pleasantville, so with the generous help of a neighbor have rigged an adequate amount of power to my home using an inverter and 2 car batteries. I wish I had prepared better but was able to do something about it. Get out and help yourself and each other and stop waiting for Con Ed.
nancy robasco November 02, 2012 at 11:15 AM
I always hear how EXPENSIVE it would be to put wires underground and how consumers would have to incur that cost yet EVERYTIME i lose power for signifcant periods of time (which is becoming my annual or perhaps more frequent occurance) I ask for the cost of flying in workers from Indiana,Maryland, Mars... and paying for their hotel rooms, meals, overtime?!?! How MUCH is that expense that I am incurring? Mr Astorino - How much does that cost us? Can we get numbers? Also as far as asking individual homeowners, to 'mea-culpa-up' and accept responsibility -- My utility bills are a fortune, my property taxes are a fortune -- What am I paying for? Putting my fate is someone else's hands? Stop waiting for con ed ??? What options do i have other than Consolidated Edison? So now, in addition to UNBELIEVABLY high taxes and utility rates, I have to provide myself with electricity! How about giving me utility company options? How about lowering my taxes so I can afford a generator? I am grateful that I didnt suffer personal loss so maybe I should just thank God and shut up but my neighbors are elderly, others have a new born baby to take care of -- we are helping each other but the least I expect for my taxes and utility bills is electricity!
Nygee914 November 02, 2012 at 12:24 PM
What a bunch of developed world babies! Do you know that 20% of the world's population does not have access to electricity? Do you realize how close our fragile civilization is to the cusp of anarchy? Why have we lost our civility in the supermarkets and at the gas stations? It the aftermath of events like this, the humbling brought to us that provide the opportunities to appreciate the little things in life. Life, family, neighbors, hot food, warm beds, and the like. So people do not have these opportunities on a GOOD DAY. Nope instead we whine like babies and brats and shift blame from one bureaucracy to the next.
bruiser November 02, 2012 at 12:30 PM
I couldn't agree more Nygee,and remember how the men and women in the military feel when they are with out these comforts for weeks at a time.
Michael Woyton (Editor) November 02, 2012 at 12:33 PM
Tell your son to come to New Rochelle. And thank him for his hard work.
Blaue Vogel November 02, 2012 at 12:33 PM
Self-reliance. Invest in a generator, stock up on food and water, batteries and fuel. Prepare your homes. All common sense stuff. It's not like we didn't know this storm was coming. And please help your neighbors!! Stop whining!
bruiser November 02, 2012 at 12:50 PM
Blaue what you wrote makes to much sence LOL,just this morning i had a gentlemen moaning to us that he couldn't stand the noise of our generators running and that he couldn't sleep.I couldn't believe he said it
Heron November 02, 2012 at 12:59 PM
Aren't generators expensive? We have kids in college and don't have much to spare these days.......We've put up with the hardship of being without power for the past three days, but I would really have to weigh that against the cost.
bruiser November 02, 2012 at 01:26 PM
Heron it's all in what you buy,you can buy a small one for around 400 dollars that will run your tv,refrigerator,a lamp or 2,or you can buy one for around 600 that will take care of most of your needs.Just remember to have around 10 gallons of gas in reserve,most generators will run 12 HRS on a fill up if you go easy,don't run to much at once it's that easy.We use the small camping stoves to cook on,the ones that use the small cans of propane that are sold at walmart or any hardware store.
Bill G. November 02, 2012 at 01:32 PM
Jeff, that's a horribly dangerous suggestion. Nobody should move a downed tree near a power line.
Bob Z November 03, 2012 at 02:28 PM
I live in Michigan. Just read an article where Con Ed turned back Independent truckers that had 144 power transformers. Con Ed said they were non union scabs. This is the article. http://theoaklandpress.com/articles/2012/11/03/news/local_news/doc509438dba64ee692391826.txt
Lanning Taliaferro (Editor) November 03, 2012 at 02:36 PM
Hi, Bob Z, Decatur Utilities, which originally made the statement, later said the documents that seemed to require union affiliation actually came from an Alabama energy cooperative. Here's the latest article I could find, and the Decatur Utilities statement is in paragraph five : http://www.cbsatlanta.com/story/19981857/some-nonunion-ala-crews-turned-away-from-sandy-recovery
Derek Schuelein November 03, 2012 at 02:45 PM
As of noon on Friday, I had still not seen a single con Ed crew or truck working in Yorktown. I have seen several Verizon and Optimum crews, and even NYSEG has restored some power to the parts of town that it services. I checked Con Ed's service outage map, and according to it, the outage affecting my immediate neighborhood is only affecting 2 customers. Having lived there for several years, I can assure you that there are over 40 homes on our blocks. So ridiculous.
andy November 03, 2012 at 03:03 PM
NYS should create a law that CT just passed.It says This spring lawmakers passed a bill to fine utilities up to 2.5 percent of yearly revenues for future debacles that leave customers in the dark for over 48 hours. Those monies would be rebated back to customers. Unfortunately this was passed to late for this storm but will help CT in the future. Lets see if other States follow
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Ruthmarie Hicks November 09, 2012 at 12:11 AM
Uh THE PG&E website tells of trucks being diverted from Westchester to Manhattan...Here is the link. Pretty obvious that the resources were diverted to NYC. http://www.pgecurrents.com/2012/11/01/pg-work-to-begin-friday/
Ruthmarie Hicks November 09, 2012 at 12:16 AM
As for penalties and fines - this is impacting hundreds of businesses - who have overhead but now way to function. ConEd should cover ALL their losses after 48 hours. They should cover ALL HOTEL costs for families and pay the tab for hospital bills for those suffering from hypothermia or anything related to being left in the cold that long. SOmething has to be done to make them stand up and maintain the grid. They aren't doing it and that's the problem. They will only do so if it costs MORE to not maintain it.
Ruthmarie Hicks November 09, 2012 at 12:20 AM
What I'm saying is make it VERY expensive for them NOT to perform well. Right now there are no consequences. So they are shoveling money at their investors instead of into the grid. Privatization of the things like utilities has a nasty way of turning out badly for consumers. The thumb on the scales tilts to share holders. Its up to the government to put a thumb on the other side of the scales to make the utilities do the right thing by the consumer.
Bill November 09, 2012 at 03:13 AM
Maintain their grid? You mean like when they try to preventatively trim trees to avoid stuff like this and people go ballistic?
Evan Bray November 09, 2012 at 04:06 AM
Oooooh noooo, Mr. Bill! If only there were a Costco in Yorktown, all of Northern Westchester would be saved. Gas would be 75 cents below the going rate, we'd all have full gas cans, generators on sale in bulk. Oh, and the increased tax revenue from said 18 acre retailer would pay for better town services and communication with these blood sucking utilities. Mr. 11 million dollars a year CEO Kevin Burke should lose 100K a day of his salary until ALL ConEd customers have power again. Ms. Hicks, you can feel free to take Mr. Rubin's comments with a grain of salt. He's notorious around these parts.
Bill November 09, 2012 at 04:15 AM
Speaking of notorious, Evan, why must you be an asshole in every thread you post in? Get a life, and grow up.
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