About 500 households in New Rochelle are still out of power. We expect progress today in multiple neighborhoods, and the end is finally in sight.
Con Ed prioritizes power restoration according to the number of customers that can be brought on-line by a particular fix. Larger outage clusters will be repaired before smaller outage clusters.
The City has no influence over this process, but we continue to inform Con Ed about field conditions and to advocate strongly for attention to local needs.
If Necessary, Re-Register Your Address
If your neighborhood comes back on line, but you still do not have power, then it is very important for you to re-register your address with Con Ed at 1-800-75-CONED or www.coned.com. Here’s why: when Con Edison repairs a major problem that impacts a large area, they may assume that all customers within that area have been restored. If there are secondary or tertiary problems affecting only a subset of this larger area, then these problems may not be evident until the primary issue is addressed. By re-registering your address, you can ensure that Con Ed is aware that problems in your neighborhood persist.
Evaluating Con Edison
While there are many good and capable people at Con Ed, who are working very hard, the organization’s performance as a whole has been entirely unacceptable. Con Ed’s initial field resources were not even close to what was required, coordination with municipal public works crews was inadequate, and public information has been confusing, at best. I have made this view very clear to Con Ed officials in both private and public contexts.
Conditions have gradually improved, but it will be important to have a careful accounting of this episode and to consider options for the future. I expect that the New York State Public Service Commission, which regulates utilities, will conduct hearings, and I look forward to participating in this process. We cannot have a repeat of this experience.
Trees & Wires
When downed trees touch wires, Con Ed MUST act before the City can clear roads. This is a basic and unshakable safety protocol. Any information to the contrary is simply wrong. Misinformation is occasionally given by Con Ed line-sitters. Line-sitters sole function is to guard downed wires. Most do not have technical or procedural knowledge.
When it comes to road obstructions that do not touch wires, the City can act alone. To the best of our knowledge, DPW had already cleared all such obstructions, but if you are aware of locations that do not involve wires, please let us know.
Residents should, of course, stay clear of all wires and assume that they are live.
What Am I Doing?
I have been focused on storm-related issues round the clock since before the Hurricane hit.
I am splitting my time between the office, where I am fielding calls and emails, the City’s emergency operations center, where I coordinate with the City’s leadership team and a Con Ed liaison to monitor operations, and I am also out in the community observing conditions firsthand.
The City has sent automated calls and emails on a daily basis with updated information on storm recovery. (By the way, many folks who could most benefit from this information can’t receive it because they don’t have power, so please help by spreading the word.)
The City’s leadership and I participate in twice daily municipal conference calls with the County’s emergency operations center and with Con Edison. I am in regular contact with other levels of government, including the Governor’s office and the offices of our U.S. Senators. On Saturday, I even spoke with the President (which was a little surreal.)
In addition, I have been available to the press, including through participation in a general briefing, being interviewed by News 12, WABC-TV, WCBS-TV, WNBC-TV, and speaking to other media outlets.
Most importantly, I am pressing Con Ed as forcefully as possible to devote additional resources to our region.
Disaster Assistance from FEMA
The President has declared Westchester County a disaster area, which makes residents and governments eligible for various forms of FEMA aid and financial assistance. Details are still evolving, but it is not too early to register in the system. To do so, log on to www.disasterassistance.gov or call 1-800-621-3362.
For those who prefer to speak with someone in person, a FEMA Assistance Center is now open at the Westchester County Center, seven days a week, from 8:00am to 8:00pm.
Police personnel have been called up to maximum strength, utilizing overtime whenever necessary. The specific deployment of Police is determined by our public safety professionals, and not dictated by me or any other elected official. Police are being utilized to cover intersections, maintain order at gas stations, prevent looting, and patrol neighborhoods.
Fortunately, residents have really risen to the occasion, and have demonstrated an enormous sense of responsibly throughout this crisis. There has been no increase in crime or traffic accidents. Nonetheless, we will, of course, continue to be proactive to maintain order.
Report all power outages directly to Con Ed at 1-800-75-CONED or www.coned.com.
Report downed trees or wires to the City’s Emergency Operations Center at 914-740-6118. (This number is NOT staffed 24/7).
Report other storm-related issues to the City’s Police Desk at 914-654-2300. (This number IS staffed 24/7.)
Of course, report emergencies to 9-1-1.
You can obtain updated information from the City website at www.newrochelleny.com.
Finally, you should sign up to receive the City’s emergency bulletins via email or text. From the City’s website at www.newrochelleny.com, click on the “Sign Up Now Connect-CTY” icon in the lower right quadrant, and then follow prompts.