363,000 Homes and Businesses Lost Power After Winter Storm Riley
74,790 Customers Remain Without Power as of Tuesday Morning; 93 Percent of Whom Are Located in Dutchess, Putnam, Sullivan and Westchester Counties
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed the New York State Department of Public Service to conduct a full review into power failures after Winter Storm Riley. Four days after Winter Storm Riley, while power has been restored to more than 280,000 New Yorkers, 74,790 customers remain without power - 93 percent of whom are located in Dutchess, Putnam, Sullivan and Westchester counties.
Given the prolonged nature of the outages and clear breakdowns in communication between utilities and customers, the Department of Public Service will review the utility preparations and response to this storm, specifically targeting those utilities that serve Dutchess, Putnam, Westchester and Sullivan counties.
"The widespread power failures after Winter Storm Riley are dangerous and completely unacceptable, and we will hold these utilities accountable for their failure to quickly restore power to New Yorkers," Governor Cuomo said. "I am directing the Department of Public Service to conduct a full review into these outages and ongoing utility power infrastructure issues."
"This is a severe and prolonged outage, with many thousands of New Yorkers still out, hundreds of impassable roads, and failures of coordination and communications," said Public Service Commission Chair John B. Rhodes. "We will undertake a thorough and intense review, because this response and restoration has not met the expectations of New Yorkers."
Utilities must follow their utility response plans and failure to do so can result in financial penalties to shareholders. Recognizing this was a severe weather event that caused extensive damage to utility infrastructure, there remain several areas of concern including thousands of customers still out, hundreds of impassable roads, and poor communication to customers. The utilities have not met the State's expectations and a full-scale review will examine operational failures throughout the restoration process.
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