Con Edison Issues Apology To Westchester Customers

  • Comments (16)
Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino met with residents Thursday at the multipurpose Hurricane Sandy recovery center. Photo Credit: Patrick Stapleton
Con Edison representatives were on hand at the multipurpose Hurricane Sandy recovery center. Photo Credit: Patrick Stapleton

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – Con Edison offered an apology Thursday to its thousands of Westchester County customers still in the dark more than a week after Hurricane Sandy struck the region.

“I am sorry for what happened, I am very sorry for what happened,” said CEO Kevin Burke at a Thursday afternoon press conference. “We’ve worked on this very hard. We made a significant number of improvements after Hurricane Irene. Unfortunately, this one came in so much greater than what we were planning for.”

The utility company, responsible for a majority of Westchester County and New York City, has come under fire from residents and politicians for not having enough workers ready to deal with the storm’s aftermath.

More than 21,000 of Con Ed’s 348,198 Westchester customers are still without power as of 7:58 p.m. Thursday, according to the company’s power outage map.

Since the storm hit on Oct. 29, County Executive Robert Astorino said he and his staff have made daily calls to top officials at Con Edison, each Westchester town government and county department.

“We were on Con Ed every day to bring in more crews to expedite the restoration and I’m as frustrated as most people.  But look, the Con Ed workers weren’t sitting around having a ham sandwich all day,” he said. “They were working as much as they could and that is no solace to anybody who has their lights out, but we wanted more and more reinforcements every day so people could get power back.”

Astorino said Con Edison should have had more people ready after the hurricane knocked out power to millions, but that yelling and screaming isn’t going to turn the power on faster.

Burke and Astorino spoke at the Westchester County multipurpose Hurricane Sandy recovery center, which will be open at the County Center seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. for as long as officials see fit. The center allows people affected by Hurricane Sandy to speak with representatives from multiple organizations, including Con Edison, FEMA, United Way, the Red Cross and the Department of Health.

Port Chester resident Azline Kemp said she’s relying on Astorino “to step up to the plate now.” She was without power for six days.

“We voted for him, I voted for him,” said Kemp, who came to Westchester from Biloxi, Miss. after Hurricane Katrina.

The Red Cross entered several Westchester communities to provide aid to those in need after Sandy. Abigail Adams, regional communications officer for the organization, said her home in Chappaqua was still without power Thursday evening.

“This is probably the largest operation the Red Cross has seen in five years in the whole region,” said Adams. “All our resources are here. It’s enormous and we expect it to last for quite some time.”

New York State Assembly Thomas Abinanti (D-Greenburgh), who hasn’t had power for 10 days, said the county has been a second-class citizen in the eyes of Con Edison.  He called for the county’s Public Utility Service Agency to “immediately bring a proceeding to 'de-certify' Con Edison.”  

“We have to change the management immediately to get through the next few days,” he said. “Then we have to look at unplugging Con Edison. I think it’s realistic. People are furious.”

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Comments (16)

daywalkz23:

thats always nice, yell at the crew thats about to bring power back to you, they probably just spiting you all for harassing them when they've been working 168 hours per week..

Bob3655:

I have an udate for everyone so here it goes: I saw 2 Con Edison trucks on my street so I approached one of them. The Con Ed Employee wanted to know my name and I refused to tell himas he was a dope. I told him that we all have had enough of them in Westchester County and he got very angry w/ me. Now his brain is perkulating and I was bracing myself for a strike in the head or face. I told him this and I quote,"please take off your blue protective hat and gear and pay me the money you guys make and you can literally go home". Wow!!---he was really getting big time mad and he told me that in his 40 years working for Con Edison...he's never seen anything like this! He stated that it isn't the moenyhe makes and he told me that he has been working 14 hour days and my response was "too freaking bad as we(meaning all residents of Westchester County) have LOST all respect for your people. (I wil not curse on here but want to) I told him that the night before..this street had power restored and I brought all my food back and put it into my refrigerator and now this street is out again"!!! I became beyond angry but maintained a professional image still w/him. He stated that the power was just put back on and my street was only out for one hour. When he pulled away..the other Con Ed truck was there still with a very nice young guy and this guy stated that the other guy is the biggest jerk in the company. So...everyone let's all ban together and hit them with food bills as they got caught with their pants down meaning totally un-prepared for this storm. We all also MUST support Rob Asterino-Our County Executive because he WILL NOT put up with this crap. He is on ALL OF OUR SIDES so let's all be patient as justice is about to come. Rob is the BEST thing that ever happened to Westchester County. It should be known that I am not a county employee. We all need to get the proper forms and make them pay dearly. It also should be known that I was told why Pike Electric was sent back to PA. I was told that it had nothing to do with them being non-union employees because if it did....the entire scene was going to be photographed along with this older first moron too.
Hope everyone has a GREAT weekend. Get outside and chill out and enjoy the milder weather! Futher updates from me will come as I get out in the field and ride around. Also..anyone seeing gas gouging MUST call Westchester County Consumer Affairs at 914-995-2162 and give them the physical adddres of the gas station along with a photo of the pump price and your receipt. Hope this also helps everyone!!!!

BestUncle:

Con Edison can take their apology and stick it where the sun does not shine. I saw 5 Con Edison guys here in Lower Westchester, 2 guys working and the other 3 leaning against the truck with their arms folded and joking around. And yet another crew sitting in their truck reading the news paper. I agree with Bob3655:

skiposts:

From Town Supervisor to County Exec. to Governor to Con Edison. The ineptitude is beyond comprehension. There are wires sitting cleanly across Evergreen Row for a week with nary a sole touching them. The snow plow actually lifted it s plow the other morning to get over them. I do feel fortunate that I have a generator but I feel I should not have to pay for the gas I have been using since last Monday. And the BS handed down by Con Ed about putting the wires underground is too expensive, I say ha. How much have they spent cleaning up these messes just in the last 16 months, billions I am sure. Windmill is in need of new water mains. There should be concerted effort to coordinate they laying of the lines in the road when they are torn up.

1293DeLeone:

I wonder if ConEd's CEO, Kevin Burke, has electricity at his home? If he does, perhaps he could switch homes with another family that's been without since the Sandy storm. Even better, he should rent entire hotels, with working power of course, to house the people that have been living in the cold and dark. Many of these people have been and are still suffering. How much pain must a person suffer before they get help that truly makes a difference? I live over 3000 miles away, in Oregon, but my son and his fellow College mates live in an apartment in New Rochelle. They are a bit luckier then some other residents because the school has a place they can go. Nevertheless, I still worry about their well being and others that are in real trouble.

travelone:

Well let me tell you that there are about 8 trucks from out of state and they have been sitting there for about 2 hours with no where to go in Harrison, I am sure that there are more just sitting there..Poor management again :(
I say do away with the grid all together and get Bloom Energy///

sysmg:

Still don't have power. I understand they ran out of telephone poles! Who knows when we'll get power.

Bob3655:

Amie--Let's all get together and file a CLASS ACTION LAW SUIT AGAINST CONSOLIDATED EDISON COMPANY OF NEW YORK, LLC...making them pay for all of our hardships. Their unions turned electric crews back from coming down I-84 to I-684 near Brewster the other day because this crew was "NON-UNIONED". (Now they want to apologize --are you kidding me?)I have a good source that lives up that way and told me! Is this sick or what??? We need to all band together and keep the posts going until Daily Voice removes this and if they do...that will be it! It will go further to Albany, NY!! We have all had it! I am pretty lucky..others I've helped are not!!!

amie.m.russo:

NUMEROUS accounts across the area of ConEd workers sleeping in their trucks and standing around doing nothing. This is not comforting news for those of us who are going on day 12 with no power. I have had to uproot my family to NUMEROUS locations just to have a warm place for my child to sleep! Then on top of it, they keep pushing back my ESTIMATED recovery date. I am guessing that by the time my power goes back on, my pipes will be good and frozen..... Will ConEd pay for the repairs that will be necessary to my home due to their lack of service? I think not!

DTJM30512:

Re: amie.m.russo. I can say personally I saw a ConEd worker in a truck at 11:50pm at night sitting, drinking a coffee and reading the Post. He was off route 9, by saw mill river road (near their facility, where they store the trucks). I was ENRAGED when I saw him. I actually stopped my car and started to back up and he took off. I then noticed he was following me and pulled into the ConEd parking lot, where he dropped off his truck. It was pathetic. I hope their is a class action lawsuit against them. I saw a fleet-a FLEET-of Quebec Hydro trucks in the elmsford area. I wonder if they could even help, since it's apparent ConEd doesn't have their act together!

Bob3655:

Too bad if you don't like it. I will Email the truth as the public needs to know why things didn't get done! Con Edison's apology is way too late!!! Suck it up and learn that Unions kill companies and your customers!!!!! Now YOU WILL pay for everyones spoiled foods and lost of work, etc. Going forward...learn from your MISTAKES!!!!!! You knew this storm was coming. I hope the Westchester County Executive disbands your operating permits big time!!!!!!

howies:

I talked to some tree guys who came all the way from Alabama and Georgia last week. They said that when they tried to help out, they were chased away by the NY union members! Why would people feel threatened when there is so much to do? You want to fix this before the next storm, replace the union members with regular company employees (and I voted for Obama!)

melissaweintraub.krochek:

The Hurricane recovery center is a great idea but opened way too late. This should have been available the week the storm hit- at least by that Friday.

Bob3655:

Everyone should know that out of town crews were turned around in the area of Brewster, NY(I-84) as they were TOLD not to come down as they were non-unioned workers! This is a verified story and I am shocked. They need to be disbanded from Westchester County PERIOD! Rob Asterino---your the best so I hope you can do this! People have had it in this area!!! We pay the MOST amount of electric/gas in the USA!!!!

paulfeiner:

Con Ed should have assigned different crews so restoration work could have continued 24 hours a day (different shifts)...Con Ed should have hired licensed electricians to help. They should provide local governments with a list of streets they are working on...and daily updates as to the progress they make on specific streets . More retirees should also have been hired.
There is no reason why residents should have been out of power for so many days. PAUL FEINER

paulfeiner:

Con Ed should have assigned different crews so restoration work could have continued 24 hours a day (different shifts)...Con Ed should have hired licensed electricians to help. They should provide local governments with a list of streets they are working on...and daily updates as to the progress they make on specific streets . More retirees should also have been hired.
There is no reason why residents should have been out of power for so many days. PAUL FEINER

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