Updated: NYSEG Power Outage a 'Long Duration Event'

Officials said that damage assessment on Wednesday will enable the utility to establish global estimated restoration times and put in place a detailed service restoration plan.

Update, Wednesday 3 p.m.

NYSEG reported on Wednesday afternoon that the company has made "solid progress" in repairing and restoring service to its customers. Of the 267,000 total service interruptions caused by the destructive storm, 57 percent  (approximately 153,000) have been restored, according to their latest press release.

Here is the information released by spokesman Jim Salmon Monday afternoon:

“Because of the good work our people have done across NYSEG and RG&E’s combined 20,000-square-mile service area, we have been moving considerable additional resources to those areas where damage is most severe,” said Mark S. Lynch, president of NYSEG and RG&E. “We expect to continue to make good progress restoring service today in the RG&E service area and in completing a comprehensive damage assessment in NYSEG’s downstate service areas. That damage assessment will enable us to establish global estimated restoration times and put in place a detailed service restoration plan.”  

Nearly 500 company line crews and contract line and tree crews, along with hundreds of support personnel, are working on the massive power restoration project, primarily in Putnam, Westchester, Sullivan, Dutchess and Monroe counties.

“Our work is going to take considerable time – it is going to be a long duration event, particularly in the hardest-hit areas – but we are confident in our people and our plan,” Lynch said. “We understand that being without power is inconvenient for our customers, and our goal is to restore service safely and as quickly as possible.”


First story, Tuesday, 8 p.m.

NYSEG officials said late Tuesday night that the utility company is continuing to move additional crews and support personnel, as well as contract line and tree crews, into the downstate areas and the Catskill region that were particularly hard hit by Hurricane Sandy.

The company re-stated that its current power restoration effort in Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties and the Catskill Region will be lengthy.

Over 110,200 NYSEG customers are without power:

Westchester County: 31,400

Putnam County: 33,100

Sullivan County: 24,600

Dutchess County 10,600

Ulster County: 3,900

Steuben County: 1,400

Delaware County 1,300

Otsego County: 600


First story: Prepare for "Lengthy Wait" for Power

Damages inflicted by Hurricane Sandy will take days to repair, according to NYSEG's latest press release.

“NYSEG and RG&E crews are making solid progress restoring service in the upstate region where damage was much less severe than it could have been,” said Mark S. Lynch, president of NYSEG and RG&E. “As we complete our work there, crews will be re-assigned to assist our downstate crews in making repairs.” 

While utility crews have made progress in upstate areas, work in Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties is still in the assessment phase.

“To put this storm and the current damage into perspective, the day after Irene was warm and sunny and we were able to begin our restoration work immediately. That restoration effort across the NYSEG service area took approximately eight days,” Lynch said. “Today we are still fighting inclement weather—for example we are not able to fly to inspect our transmission lines, and the damage to our facilities appears to be much worse than it was following Irene.”

Crews will begin "comprehensive damage assessment" on Wednesday, followed by the distribution of estimated restoration times. 

How Power is Restored:

According to Lynch, the safety of crews and customers is paramount and this procedure ensures safety is a priority:

  • Removing hazards – such as live, fallen power lines.
  • Make necessary repairs to the backbone of the system: transmission lines and substations.
  • Work on our local delivery system, including the poles and power lines along streets and roads, focusing first on critical facilities such as hospitals, nursing homes, and fire and power stations.

There are over 31,000 Westchester residents and over 32,000 Putnam residents currently without power.

John Bretti November 01, 2012 at 12:57 AM
A large part of the problem is that not enough was done by NYSEG (and ConEd) to prepare for this storm, just like Hurrican Irene this time last year. Why aren't NYSEG and ConEd doing more to trim trees that could potentially damage lines? The towns should also be proactive in this effort. It's ridiculous we have these long-duration outage when other communites do not.
CarmelGal November 01, 2012 at 01:01 AM
Nyseg not working fast to restore power? why is this shocking to anyone. I can't remember the last time I saw NYSEG actually outside working on power lines. I remember reading several articles after the last storm about the insane amount of time it took NYSEG to restore power. Why is no one regulating this?
Kate Elliott November 01, 2012 at 01:02 AM
I agree...We lived through severe week long blizzards with no more than a day of power outage if that....we did have serious electric subcontractors trimming trees after snowtober but not much since....
Fran Picone November 01, 2012 at 01:52 AM
You really should verify this NYSEG propaganda before publishing it as "news." It is totally false...there are no NYSEG resources working anywhere in Lewisboro. The Highway Superintendent can confirm that as his request for assistance from NYSEG has been denied. It is a disgrace how they are allowed to sit around and do absolutely nothing to restore service as the conduct this indefinite "assessment". I'm sure the CEO is sitting in his warm well lit house while it goes on.
t.vita November 01, 2012 at 02:09 AM
Well I think our officials should be the ones speaking on our behalf. Nothing is going to change, they would have learned from Irene. If we don't pay our bill they will cut our service. The more populated areas should get assessed first. Tree trimming went on all summer long, we are in a heavy wooded environment, when is our infrastructures going to change. Our wiring should be underground, how could countries in europe have this and the good old Usa dosent. Its like we are living in a primitive times, were we can't get things done quicker...be for real nyseg...you completely dropped the ball on readiness and concern for your customers.
CarmelGal November 01, 2012 at 02:16 AM
Shouldn't the elected officals actually be pushing NYSEG to get to work.There top concern seems to be sounding great during press conferences and radio/news interviews.
t.vita November 01, 2012 at 02:22 AM
Not one truck on the streets of Bedford except for a few state trucks on 172 this am!!! This is a disgrace and very frustatung. When we have to put ourselfs at risk to get around and drive under the trees that are hanging by wires.
t.vita November 01, 2012 at 02:25 AM
I agree with carmlgal.. even appointed officials should be moving the process along. I know I would be knock ingredient on the head door of the nyseg office pissed off that my people are going through this. With just an explanation of were still assessing.
Putnam Anonymous November 01, 2012 at 02:30 AM
So I have been critical of NYSEG at the beginning of this thread and last year when during Irene and Snoween. I can say I personally say many crews out working in all areas of Putnam County today. From Brewster to Carmel to Kent and to Mahopac, they are out there. My friend who lives in Carmel for example had his power restored this afternoon as did another friend in Patterson, so I can say that I have seen some improvement. Could it be better? Yes. Could they have started yesterday? Yes. NYSEG is slow at reacting to these situations and needs to improve their preparedness. But I can give them some credit today. I hope everyone stays safe and has their power restored sooner than later.
local mom November 01, 2012 at 02:46 AM
What happened to yesterday? They said they wouldn't begin assessing until Wednesday. We lost precious time. In their press release they said that they couldn't travel (fly) today die to weather? Why aren't there people on the ground? CT had this problem with CLP after Irene. Elected reps were all over them and they were out repairing today in New Canaan. I received an email from Peter Harkham tonight saying NYSEG's lack of responsiveness is unacceptable. Same thing I heard last storm. Maybe the federal government should stop the monopoly on energy and them we could have a choice of carriers. A little competition would be good for them. Our one company system is really broken.
local mom November 01, 2012 at 02:57 AM
The following is from Peter Harckham's email this evening. "It is unacceptable that NYSEG has not provided ‘make safe’ crews to our municipalities. Our local highway crews stand at the ready to open roads, but cannot until they are told a downed line is safe. What is worse, this was a best practice learned during Hurricane Irene. It is mind boggling that NYSEG has not followed this practice. I, along with your local, state and other County officials, have voiced our frustration with NYSEG at the highest levels. As for Con Ed customers, the ‘make safe’ work is completed and some limited restorations have been completed. Con Ed, like NYSEG, is unwilling at this time to predict a date for full restoration, but unlike NYSEG, they have a designated representative for each municipality to address strategic concerns and some limited restorations have already taken place." NYSEG was assessing today. Con Ed was doing "make safe" work. NYSEG doesn't have local people who can help the municipalities like ConEd does. Con Ed restored some power today. How do we get rid of NYSEG as our energy provider?
Gerry Heintz November 01, 2012 at 02:58 AM
Who the heck is supervising the tree removal? Hundreds of trees down blocking roads. Some hanging by a thread or a power / telephone cable. What exactly is the emergency plan and haven't we learned from the last couple of disasters? Ironically Bergen County, NJ is getting their power back.
John Drew November 01, 2012 at 10:59 AM
NYSEG was out there on Tuesday. They were just all gathered at Dunkin Donuts and the Eveready Diner in Brewster.
John Drew November 01, 2012 at 11:06 AM
Beware that BP station. We went once and never again. Pumped gas and as I was leaving the manager/owner came charging out and pounded on my window claiming I didn't pay. I paid at the pump (they can't start unless I authorize my card, right?) and showed him my receipt. That place is fishy and should be avoided.
Lisa Buchman (Editor) November 01, 2012 at 11:12 AM
This comment is from Bob Swern, who was having connectivity issues "NYSEG's performance has been atrocious and miles beyond abysmal in its southeastern NY service area. Power has been restored to ZERO--repeat ZERO homes--in their service area in the Catskills and southeastern NY. All claims of "restoration" have occurred, exclusively, in their other service areas! Not one, single home that's serviced by NYSEG in Westchester, Putnam, etc., has seen service restored since Sandy struck on Monday. Not one home. Compare NYSEG's numbers with every other public electric utility in the tri-state area and find one company that's performed more poorly this time around, as far as local service restoration is concerned. To parrot their statements in your coverage of this fiasco is a bit of a news/reporting travesty. Look at their website and their own numbers, updated many times per day, to confirm these truths. They have local offices and service teams. They received plenty of advance notice on this storm, just like every other utility. Now...look beyond their statements and see their own website to understand what a pathetic situation this is, this time around. Please! Do your job. These folks at NYSEG needed to be called out for their abysmal performance. And, soon. We're all FREEZING here in Westchester and Putnam. In advance, thank you!" -- Bob Swern
Heather Pollock November 01, 2012 at 11:32 AM
Beware of the BP on 22..they raised their prices 20 cents after the storm. These stations have also been very busy....so there could be a wait.
Heather Pollock November 01, 2012 at 11:35 AM
Sorry, Bob.....but I live in Putnam and my power was restored on Wednesday. They are slow, I know of many in my community still w/o power though. From the numbers, there have not been a lot but some have been lucky. Last year were were out 5 days....I feel the pain of those still out.
Kate Elliott November 01, 2012 at 12:45 PM
Has anyone heard any official from NYSEG speak? I keep hearing CL and P on the radio doing press conference? Lisa can you provide any more town official updates? We are going into the twenties at night soon...also any places with wifi?
Lisa Buchman (Editor) November 01, 2012 at 02:05 PM
I've posted an update for Bedford here: http://patch.com/A-zkCf
candace November 01, 2012 at 06:44 PM
I live in Brewster and have been on the road seeking out food and charging areas since Tuesday morning. I have not seen ONE NYSEG or related vehicle over the last week. I've had a tree down on a power line in front of my house since the storm and no one has come despite countless phone calls that it likely poses a danger on my property. Their service has been abysmal and to hear that they're not even surveying the damage down here in Westchester and Putnam, no less facilitating restoration, is infuriating. I have family and friends in NJ, NYC, Long Island and CT that all have either had power restored or have utility vehicles combing their streets the last few days. We have had none of that. I couldn't be more disappointed and furious with them.
lillian philbin November 01, 2012 at 07:24 PM
I had power restored at 2:30 PM today by NYSEG in Brewster by Lincoln Ave. I was out from 4:00 PM Tuesday only. I don't consider this a long time considering how awful things are all around us. We always had access to nearby stores and gas stations.
mimi November 02, 2012 at 08:24 AM
Even people I know in new jersey have had their electricity restored. The outer Banks of NC have electricity. This is a disgrace-where are are town officials in all of this? They should be demanding answers and action. Elections are being jeopardized-where are the plans for a better system? Buried wires-are an obvious answer. We are living in the 1950's.
Lisa Buchman (Editor) November 02, 2012 at 12:41 PM
Hi Mimi, town officials and county officials are working with utilities and even the national guard to clear roads and get power back on. This story is from Wednesday, you can read the latest updates here: http://patch.com/A-zl3k Good luck.
GP November 03, 2012 at 03:23 AM
Someone should check to see which board of directors of Iberdrola own stock in Generac or Honda, two of the largest generator manufacturers. Speaking of which, if this is a regular thing now, these outages that is, why haven't more people installed whole house generators on their homes?
GP November 03, 2012 at 03:28 AM
We are new to the area, but if this is as bad as everyone says, why haven't compaints been filed with the Public Service Commission?
d. o'connell November 03, 2012 at 08:54 PM
Dear Mom of 4, I feel for you being a mom myself. I understand the responsibilities and sacrifices we have to make to make sure everyone and everything is ok. Therefore, it makes it even more frustrating when the things we rely on are unreliable. As for NYSEG, I was told that since they are not accountable they do not have to answer to the state or county, as NYSEG is now a privately owned company from Spain called Iberdrola. Any complaints and requests can be made to these our local politicians (from the top-down - find their emails at www.westchestergov.com. Governer Cuomo, Senator Ball, Assemblyman Castelli, County Executive Rob Asterino and County Legislator Peter Harckham. We need to make our unified voices heard. I for one would not mind having a choice between gas and electric. Why are some areas piped for gas and others are not. Better yet, I would like to see alternative energy being instituted all over the county and state. We have to start believing by now that these storms are no longer the odd occurrence. They are going to be going on more and more as we experience global warming. Our reliance on what we have been used to and taught to expect has to change. I want to believe that in a place like Westchester County where we have so many smart and progressive people, we cannot work together to stop the dependence.
GP November 04, 2012 at 03:20 AM
Mom of 4 and d. o'connell - Your complaints must be to NYSEG and to the NYS Public Service Commission (PSC). The NYSEG, like every other utility company in NYS must answer to the PSC. Call the appropriate # as indicated on this PSC webpage: http://www3.dps.ny.gov/W/PSCWeb.nsf/All/3A2D2D4F96A5158D85257687006F3961?OpenDocument. Notifying our elected officials will not be as effective as a PSC complaint.
yjnyhn November 04, 2012 at 01:08 PM
they have begun trying to lower http://www.coachoutletmls.com expectations.Consolidated Edison, for example, tucked an especially http://www.hemesbelscq.com dire note into a news release on Thursday afternoon. It said the http://www.coachfactoryoutletion.com “vast majority” of its customers in New York City http://www.coachoutletonlinehl.net and the northern suburbs should have power by Nov. 11, http://www.coachoutletonlineef.org but a significant number could remain in the dark for http://www.coachoutletuso.net a week or more beyond that.John Miksad, the company’s senior
pauline schneider November 04, 2012 at 08:11 PM
d.o'connell, exactly. The privatization of our power supply was the first mistake we made as a nation... Consider that SOME people have suggested privatizing FEMA... Corporations/Companies are in the business of making money, not saving lives... Consider that these storms will be coming more frequently and more furiously. Consider that it will only take longer and be more expensive for repairs each time and some communities will be left in the cold & dark longer and longer each time. I have watched the telephone poles on my street be replaced at least twice in the past year from storms... How many telephone poles and transformers can a company replace before it becomes cost prohibitive? It's unsustainable. We need an alternative! There is an alternative and many people around the country and the globe are embracing the alternative which is the Transition Town movement. Hundreds of local communities are developing Energy Descent Action Plans and developing local power companies that are NOT dependent on a national power grid or a corporate board of investors... These storms are NOT going to end or get milder. Time has come for us to take the Power back into our own hands... Literally. Check out the Transition Town movement here: www.TransitionUS.org And check out Transition Westchester, Transition Ossining, Transition Hastings On Hudson, Transition Marbletown and Transition Woodstock. :) Just for starters. Here's a sample http://vimeo.com/34587522
Tim November 04, 2012 at 08:41 PM
I see NYSEG's offices have power. Still have no power, but received my NYSEG bill in the mail yesterday. Unbelievable. NYSEG is by far the worst utility company in the state. While even Con Ed has has its difficulties this time around, a week plus without power is par for the course for NYSEG. The state should pull their license.


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