Con Ed Communications Improvements Expected by April 2019.
NYSEG Infrastructure upgrades by end of this year.
NYSEG Effort Not enough say Legislators Covill and Kaplowitz.
NY MUTUAL AID GROUP MULLS MUTUAL AID FIXES
WPCNR THE POWER STORY. By John F. Bailey. October 4, 2018:
Representatives of Con Edison and New York State Electric & Gas told the Westchester County Legislators Committee of the Whole Monday at the County Office the ways the two companies are gearing up to handle major storm damage to power supply to prevent the 10 Day outages that occurred during last spring March storms.
Con Edison announced they were committed to flying in 50 contract work crews in anticipation of major storms so restoration could restore faster, an increase of 100 lineworkers. Steven Parisi, the Con Ed spokesperson said Con Ed would also commit to a fleet of 50 more trucks ( whether by purchase, or refurbishing older trucks) for these workers to use, rather than waiting for trucks to drive from states and towns hundreds of miles away.
During last spring’s storms Con Edison had approximately 500 Con Ed workers and 1,500 contract workers from around the region and from Canada and southern states that took two weeks to restore all power.
Con Edision blamed communications chaos with towns and customers on defective software in its robocalls and communciations. Con Ed said it would have all this fixed, robocall chaos, confusion as to who was out of power and who was not by April of 2019.
They also promised continued tree trimming around power lines.
NYSEG, reported second to the committee on their efforts to prevent the widespread outages in the Westchester Towns of Bedford, Lewisboro, North Salem, Pound Ridge and Yorktown, and when asked if they were contracting to bring in more contract workers as Con Ed was doing.
Trish Nelson of NYSEG, said they were not at this time, because the state committee on Mutual Aid is currently discussing how New York power companies are going to address the need for changes mutual aid based on last year’s and this year’s storms.
Nelson said “NYMAG (New York Mutual Aid Group) is looking at allocation of mutual aid. There are just so many (limited) utility contractors. We need to create a balanced, ongoing procedure.”
Nelson said the committee would have a report later this month. Any solutions or conclusions would require a vote of the power utilities in the group.
Nelson said adding 1,000 line workers (as Con Edison is saying it is doing) “is not cost effective. That remains the biggest issue.”
Kitley Covill, the County Legislator from Katonah, took sharp issue with that, saying in the close of her remarks, “It’s very hard to carry water for NYSEG. Verify then we’ll trust.”
Michael Kaplowitz, the County Legislator, sharply criticized what appeared to be an 846 decline in the number of NYSEG employed lineworkers since 2005 (13 Years ago), from 2,565 lineworkers then to 1,719 now. Chuck Eaves said this was incorrect because NYSEG has contracted workers “bringing them up to the approximate 2,500 level.
NYSEG said they were installing an automated switching system that would allow them to bypass invidual outages and thus keeping more customers in power. They also said they are going to cut 10 foot right of ways on either side of their powerlines by either felling trees or cutting back limbs along the tracks of their above ground lines. They said there is much resistance to this in the more affluent residences in Westchester County.
NYSEG said they were upgrading connections and substations for Heritage Hills in Somers, a major outage during last springs storms.
Questions will be furnished by the legislators to both companies.
Con Edison reported 163 outages as a result of Tuesday evening dangerous weather that were still out this morning, after approximately 2,000 outages reported Tuesday evening.
The complete hearing of the Committee of the Whole, (though badly out synch–no fault of the county we are assured), may be viewed at this link: