Yorktown officials reported Friday a quarter of Con Edison’s customers were still without power.
Supervisor Matt Slater and Highway Superintendent Dave Paganelli maintained one reason for the delay in power restoration is Con Edison’s failure to send adequate tree-removal crews to clear streets, despite the fact that Con Edison has used the FDR State Park in Yorktown as a staging area for the past three months. On Friday morning, town officials saw just one Con Edison truck in Yorktown.
“They are staging in Yorktown, but you can’t find them,” said Slater. “We were assured we would have multiple crews from Con Edison in our town and we have just one.”
Tropical Storm Isaias downed thousands of trees throughout the New York metro region on Tuesday. The damage left most of Yorktown without power; virtually all the town’s municipal buildings lacked power on Wednesday.
Yorktown is served by two electric utilities. Con Edison serves 8,451 and NYSEG serves about 14,000. The manpower response between the two utilities is stark, according to Paganelli.
“NYSEG cleared 12 roads yesterday and Con Ed cleared three. It’s a joke,” Paganelli remarked. “NYSEG has already accomplished their make-safe phase and they are now working on power restoration.”
The increasingly violent nature of storms hitting Con Edison’s service area requires the utility to upgrade its infrastructure, enhance its emergency response teams and improve communication with the public and elected leaders.
“We need to finally acknowledge the fact that these are no longer 100-year or 20-year storms. They are happening every year and it’s time for the utilities to harden our infrastructure and the state’s utility regulators have to force them to do it. Albany lawmakers must take real action,” Slater said. “We’ve lived through this before and we were assured the proper steps were taken to prevent mass power outages and properly manage these situations. Tropical Storm Isaias has proven once again Con Edison’s utter failure to beef up its ability to respond to increasingly common extreme weather.”