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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.”

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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