One week after Tropical Storm Isaias, 78 Con Ed customers in Rye remained without power in Rye Tuesday night. A Con Ed customer can be a single family or multi family dwelling. In an update Tuesday night, Rye Mayor Josh Cohn estimated between 40 and 600 residents are still impacted.
Cohn, usually more than a little reserved and lawyerly, takes Con Ed to task in the update: “My hope is that we, Westchester residents, will not accept New York State action that confines itself to gilding the withered lily that is Con Ed’s storm response apparatus,” and Cohn continues in the update. For Cohn, consider this – “gilding the withered lily” as angry trash talking.
Cohn’s full update follows:
“When I wrote two days ago, I would not have believed that a full week after Isaias, I would be writing once again on power restoration — with my own lights going on and off, and power lines exploding in flames on Forest Avenue. So here we are, with somewhere between 40 and 600 Rye residents without power, final restoration times this evening unlikely to be met for some, and more anxious residents hoping for repairs from the marginally present Altice and Verizon.
Believe it or not, Con Ed begins its daily status calls for municipal officials with a short address by a safety officer who has warned us against slipping on wet leaves or working carelessly when exhausted. Fear not, your City will press on in helping residents recover their services, wet leaves and fatigue notwithstanding. We understand that Con Ed will be holding onto some of the mutual aid workers it has gathered until things are better settled (witness our flaming wires). We hope Altice and Verizon will understand that they are about to become the center of attention they don’t really want.
There is sure to be yet another inquiry, another study and more recommendations relating to Con Ed’s Isaias performance (or lack thereof). My hope is that we, Westchester residents, will not accept New York State action that confines itself to gilding the withered lily that is Con Ed’s storm response apparatus. We can’t afford to be dispossessed en masse every couple of years as we just have been, and as we were in March 2018 and earlier storms.
The Governor speaks in terms of revoking Con Ed’s monopoly franchise. Well, we’ll see. Some speak, as they have before, of requiring C-suite regime change at Con Ed. Again, we’ll see. But one thing we must do is make sure that our energy utility, whatever it is called and whoever is running it, takes storm risk seriously, understands that it must plan very conservatively and allocates its resources accordingly. Con Ed’s opening explanation in this most recent debacle was that it did little advance storm preparation because its in-house meteorologist didn’t get the storm track quite right. In other words, Con Ed gambled our welfare on the basis of an imperfect weather report. This in a world where we all know that weather reports are often imperfect. We can’t allow our government to allow our utility to behave this way.
Less dramatically, please remember that you can claim reimbursement from Con Ed for certain food, medication and perishable merchandise costs here. You may also register residences housing electrically-supported life support equipment here. If needed, City Hall will be open as a cooling and recharging station tomorrow, August 12th from 9:00 – 4:30.
On that other front, our COVID-19 numbers remain low. Let’s please all do all we can to keep it that way. You all know the drill. Back to school will be a big hurdle. Let’s be ready.
As always, please check the Chamber of Commerce website for goings-on on Purchase Plaza.
I interacted with many of you hard-pressed by no power in the heat of summer. You are an impressive lot. I hope, though, that we all now get to glide through Labor Day without further testing.
Mayor Josh Cohn”