(White Plains, NY) – With 58 State, County and local elected officials standing with him Westchester County Executive George Latimer called for changes to the leadership teams of ConEdison and NYSEG following the inadequate response to the storms hitting our region this week and their lack of communication, Friday, March 9th. The universal group of elected officials included State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Westchester County Board of Legislators Chairman Ben Boykin, Vice Chair Alfreda Williams and Democratic Majority Leader Catherine Borgia, Assemblymembers J Gary Pretlow and Shelly Meyers (who is the Democratic nominee for Latimer’s vacant State Senate seat) just to name a few.
Latimer said: “It is time for them to look realistically and say ‘did we rise to the occasion that week in March?’ or were they not there for our residents and not there interacting with local officials to get power back sooner. I want to see change in the corporate boardroom because there was failure on the streets of this County.”
Also in attendance were three Westchester residents from all corners of the County who have dealt without their electricity for nearly a week. Each sharing a harrowing tale of miscommunication, unrest and fear of what the consequences of this outage will be for the health of their families. Residents from North Castle, Valhalla and Mount Vernon shared their experiences.
Mount Vernon resident Rikka Mills said: “We have been without power since Friday, I have two disabled children, and they should never been in this situation. It is so hard to bring them home to a cold house because change is difficult for them. Each time we spoke with ConED they would say ‘it will come back on soon.’ When I was driving around in the snowstorm to find a hotel I got a text from ConED saying the power was back on – and when we went back home it was still out.”
City of New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson said: “It is evident that when you talk about the quantity of resources applied to this challenge, the quality of information that is flowing to the public at large and municipal leaders, by all of these standards there have been dramatic failures.”
Town of Cortlandt Supervisor Linda Puglisi, speaking to her experiences with ConEdison and NYSEG, said: “In 27 years as Town Supervisor, I have gone through storms, hurricanes, nor’easters, flooding and it is the same ending of the story each time – and let me tell you it is not a happy ending, it is a nightmare.”
See full press conference below:
As of 11:08AM Friday morning, 20,000 Westchester County customers were still without power; 6,941 NYSEG customers and 13,000 ConEd customers. Stay tuned to Black Westchester for more on this developing story.