NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – With snow on the way, city and state officials are deploying extra resources. Mayor de Blasio cancelled an out of town trip and the governor has vowed to work all weekend.
Everyone is hoping to prevent a replay of the bungled storm responses New Yorkers have been dealing with over the last year.
Nightmare pictures of drivers stalled in traffic all night in November. Angry homeowners left in the dark and cold for days and days in Westchester when Con Ed and other utilities were unprepared to cope with downed trees and power lines last winter.
It’s a case of deja vu officials want to avoid at all costs.
“If the utilities do not perform in a satisfactory way… they’ll be penalized to the tune of millions of dollars,” Gov. Cuomo threatened during a conference call.
Cuomo issuing a “be prepared” warning as both state and city officials admit that widespread power outages are one of their top concerns this weekend.
“Given the fact that you’re predicting downed trees and down power lines, has there been any communication with Con Ed about getting extra crews here just in case there’s a need to restore power?” CBS2’s Marcia Kramer asked Mayor de Blasio.
“There certainly is communication… I want to caution that the notion of extra crews and all is not a limitless idea,” the mayor replied.
“In a situation where you have a lot of trees go down wires go down it still takes a lot of time to get them back up.”
Con Ed admits that last winter was not their finest hour, but says it’s geared up for the potential onslaught.
“We’ve been preparing all week. We’ve got at least 250 extra power line workers lines up ready to go,” Michael Clendenin of Con Ed explained.
“We’ve also been doing some things since last March when we had those horrible storms in Westchester… removing dead or dying trees from people’s private property… $100 million in storm improvements.”
With a mix of snow, rain, and freezing temperatures in the forecast, Clendenin says buckle your seat belts.
“We expect outages are going to happen. They could be pretty high and just expect we’ll be able to respond very, very quickly.”
The weekend storm is so worrisome mayor de Blasio cancelled a trip to Maine
“I’ve always said if there’s something here than demands my attention, I change my plans,” the mayor claimed.
The city says it will have 1,600 plows and 700 salt spreaders on the road. The state will also deploy 1,600 large plow trucks, including 100 reserve trucks.
The bulk is being sent to Long Island and the mid-Hudson Valley.