NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Tens of thousands of Con Edison customers lost power during the previous nor’easters – some for 10 days or more.
If outages are not repaired quickly this storm, expect Gov. Andrew Cuomo to be furious with the utility company.
“Utility companies were not granted a license by God. It’s not in the Old Testament that these utility companies have to have the license,” the governor said Wednesday.
Call it the wrath of Cuomo, who hath decreed he will not tolerate a déjà vu flashback to the last storm, where thousands lost power for days and days on end. To say he didn’t really enjoy the signs of Ryebrook attorney Manvin Mayell, saying “eight days… no power… why Con Ed… and Cuomo?” is an understatement, CBS2’s Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported.
“People pay them to supply power to the home – not just when it’s sunny, but also when there’s a storm,” he said. “New Yorkers are understanding and we understand there can be a storm and power lines are down, but we also expect the utility companies to do their job and have the personnel and the resources to quickly restore power.
“In my opinion, they have failed that mission,” he added.
The governor said he told the power companies to up their game. For this storm, there will be approximately 6,100 line, tree and service workers in the state – 3,050 in New York City and the Hudson Valley.
“I understand these storms are a relatively recent phenomenon, but we have all had to adjust – New Yorkers have had to adjust, local government has had to adjust, and the power companies have to learn to adjust,” he said. “This is the new normal.”
Just days after “Sex and the City” star Cynthia Nixon announced her campaign to unseat him, he clearly doesn’t want to hear complaints — like the ones leveled during the last storm that he was m.i.a. in Albany, not anywhere near where the outages were, Kramer reported.
Kramer: “Are you going to be there in Westchester and Long Island to try to make sure, put the feet to the fire of Con Ed and the other power companies, to make sure people get their power restored?”
Cuomo: “I am a feet to the fire kind of guy, Marcia.”
The governor pointed out that he had already ordered the state Public Service Commission to review the poor performance of the utilities this winter.
“If the review shows what I believe it shows, I believe they’re going to be penalized and there are going to be financial sanctions,” he said. “I think we should consider revoking the license from some of these utility companies.”
Asked to respond to the governor’s threat, a Con Ed spokesperson said, “Thousands of dedicated women and men are ready to restore power to any customers impacted. Working together with our municipal partners and emergency personnel, we will get through this fourth nor’easter safely.”
“You want to shake up the utilities in this state? Revoke a franchise,” said Cuomo.
Wednesday evening, the utility companies were reporting minimal problems.