WPCNR THE POWER STORY. Response from Con Edison Media Relations. 3:20 P.M. E.S.T. March 8, 2018 UPDATED 5:11 P.M. EST:
This just in: from Con Ed Media relations. At 5 PM, Con Edison’s Allen Drury reports 220 roads are blocked in Westchester County.
WPCNR contacted Con Edison Media Relations about questions raised at the Yorktown Media Briefing conducted by County Executive George Latimer this morning and he sent these answers earlier this afternoon to WPCNR
Here are the answers to WPCNR’s questions
WPCNR: At the Yorktown Police Department briefing held by C.E. Latimer, Mayor of Yorktown,Senator Murphy, Mr. Latimer was unclear as to whether Con Ed is now providing and verifying Customers Out of Power with the Police Department (s) in Yorktown–and surrounding north county communites. Are you sharing real time numbers now with the police departments? This was a big criticism leveled in the briefing this morning?
ALLEN DRURY, CON EDISON MEDIA RELATIONS: We provide outage numbers in near real time via our publicly available outage map. The map contained some outdated numbers for a time this week but that is rare.
It is usually accurate and updates every 15 minutes.
During emergencies like this one, we hold regular calls with municipal officials in which we provide updates on progress and any other information that is requested, including outage numbers.
We have numerous other contacts with municipal officials outside of those calls during emergencies.
WPCNR: When you dispatch crews to repower in view of the significant new outages…do you give each crew a series of assignments geographically close together ? Are you doing that now?
Mr. Drury: Yes. Crews are deployed strategically and the locations of areas where repairs are needed is a factor in that deployment. This is for the reason you mentioned. (See additional information in answer 4.)
WPCNR: Does Con Edison have a statement on Mr. Latimer’s call for the top level management to step down and managers be replaced do to the communication deficiencies many are alleging yesterday and today?
Mr. Drury: We are focusing on the restoration of customers from the two storms. We understand customers’ frustration with not having power. Living without power for a short time is difficult. Living without power for days is nearly unbearable.
We want customers to have power as badly as they want to have it. That is why we are working 24/7 to get customers back into service. Most of our workers live in the communities we serve, so our customers are our relatives, friends and neighbors. In fact, many of our crew members who are working long hours doing dangerous, arduous work go home at the end of their shifts to homes without power.
WPCNR: Mr. Latimer alleged that Con Ed could have managed restorations better by direct communication with the police departments, instead of just making decisions on greatest numbers out. Do you have a comment on that?
Mr. Drury: During outages, utilities, including Con Edison, prioritize repairs that will bring the largest number of customers back the fastest. In addition (as mentioned in a previous answer) we consider the locations of areas where repairs are needed so that crews maximize time spent making repairs, not driving long distances from job to job. We also give priority to critical customers, such as police and fire stations, hospitals, municipal water treatment plants, etc.
WPCNR: Is Con Ed adopting a new strategy with the tripling of the Customer Out numbers in Westchester?
Mr. Drury: We are prioritizing the restoration of customers who lost service in the first storm, last Friday. No question, yesterday’s storm affects restoration.
It was incredibly destructive in Westchester. More than 100 ( Updated to 220 as of 5 P.M.) additional roads were blocked by fallen trees and debris. The storm forced us to take crews off the road for a period, as we had to sharply curtail work during the storm.
We were able to restore service to all but 6,500 of the approximately 140,000 customers affected by the first storm.
Yesterday’s storm affects restoration and caused the numbers to rise again.
WPCNR: Is there a statement from the top management of Con Ed on the criticism of restoration strategy leveled the last two days, today and yesterday?
Mr. Drury, Con Edison: We are focused on the restoration. Once the restoration is complete, we will examine all aspects of the restoration and look for areas to improve.