Poll: How Would You Rate the Storm Response of Your Utility Company?

Still without power? Lights were back on within hours? Let us know about your experience.

It’s been three days since October’s snowstorm hit, bringing with it downed trees, power lines and more. 

When it comes to electricity, NYSEG reports that as of 12:30 this afternoon, 1,174 customers are still out in Bedford, 79 in Bedford Hills and 2,845 in Katonah. 

When compared with Hurricane Irene, Jim Salmon, NYSEG’s spokesman told Patch that, "They were certainly similar in that there was a lot of damage from both," Salmon said. "This one is significant damage and a lot of road closures that are making accessibility somewhat difficult—very difficult in some cases."

According to their website, most power is estimated to be restored by Friday, Nov. 4 at the latest. (To see the estimated restoration time by street, see here and click on your town.)

Do you have power at your house? And how do you think the utility company has done in getting the lights back on? Take our poll below and share your experience in the comments.

And if you’re looking for places that are open in the area, be sure to click .

Lisa Buchman (Editor) November 01, 2011 at 06:49 PM
Today I've seen a lot of crews out on roads in Lewisboro and Bedford—anyone else?
E.J. Kelley November 01, 2011 at 08:03 PM
We got power back in Cross River/Waccabuc around 11pm last night, were able to heat the house back up and get showered...only to lose it by 1:30am and wake up in 52 degrees. It hasn't been back, and the new milk we got last night was warm by breakfast.
Scott Miller November 01, 2011 at 08:17 PM
NYSEG is saying by Thursday most houses should be back with power.
Shep November 02, 2011 at 02:08 AM
I am very frustrated. Power went out on my street in Bedford at 4 on Sat. Hasn't been back since. Yesterday when I called to find out a time Nyseg said it was already turned on. It wasn't. Now, I am freezing in my house with all of my kids b/c according to nyseg it is going go be on by 11pm. It is now 10:04, not a truck up be seen. I would of stayed out. And they have school tomorrow. I can't wait to wake up in a freezing house with no breakfast stuff, and get them ready for school.
Nature Lady November 02, 2011 at 10:48 AM
I'm upset with the slowness and ineptitude of the media to mention climate change which is causing these unprecedented storms! Let's fix the problem and not look for band aid solutions.
Paul November 02, 2011 at 01:26 PM
I note that NYSEG have today moved dates back. For example Quarry Lane was 1st and Middle Patent the 2nd. Now both are the 3rd. Not seeing any work at night, nor much evidence of NYSEG in the town. Is the town putting any pressure on NYSEG?
ABOmom November 02, 2011 at 02:32 PM
Same as Shep. We were told Nov. 1st by 11pm. No power came back and no trucks were anywhere nearby. If it's going to take longer, they need to update their website so we can make arrangements- I had a baby and a toddler in a 43 degree house! NYSEG should be ashamed. Some things are out of their control but updating their website is something totally in their control.
Lloyd Trufelman November 02, 2011 at 03:56 PM
NYSEG’s communication efforts throughout this storm have been disgraceful i.e. - no way to get through to them on the phone (2 day long busy signal), no proactive outbound customer calls or emails, no NYSEG reps on the ground in the hamlets, and a static, uninformative home page on the web. Yet Con Ed, Connecticut Light & Power and the New Jersey utilities implemented a basic customer crisis communications plan quite effectively, in effect doing everything above that NYSEG wasn’t. Also spokespersons from the aforementioned other utilities were on NY area all–news radio stations constantly – offering customers information, advice and reassurances. Yes, this was a big storm, and one can’t expect NYSEG to get the power on instantly. But they could have easily and quickly communicated with their customers. There was advance warning of the storm and most utilities have such crisis communications plans all set to roll out on a moment’s notice, as it’s a utilities’ responsibility to the public. So in that regard, they’re either indifferent or incompetent – probably a bit of both…
David November 02, 2011 at 04:20 PM
The trees and wires are still down on our street and the surrounding streets. NYSEG said we would be good on Thursday, then changed that to last night and again back to Thursday. We decamped to a hotel last night but we're back here tonight. This is beyond disgraceful.
Lisa Buchman (Editor) November 02, 2011 at 04:27 PM
Will be posting an update to this story with comments from NYSEG spokesperson shortly—thanks.
Paul November 02, 2011 at 05:15 PM
Frankly all I ever see from the NYSEG spokespeople is corporate fluff - (dry ice syndrome). How many crews are there in the area? What hours do the crews work? How much extra help have they brought in for this area? What did they learn from Irene? What do they think about the comparisons being made on their response against ConEds efforts?
David November 02, 2011 at 05:59 PM
Looking forward to it.. I'd like to hear what they have to say.
Lanning Taliaferro (Editor) November 02, 2011 at 06:05 PM
I thought extra crews were called in?
E.J. Kelley November 02, 2011 at 06:11 PM
Last night, a NYSEG representative told us via phone that crews stop working by midnight "with a skeleton crew on call for emergencies." Meanwhile, the Brewster Division headquarters (where we took a despair drive earlier, and security, somewhat entertainingly, was stationed inside the customer service center) told us at face they do in fact work 24/7. The contradictions, lack of communication and foremost understanding by this local subsidiary of an internationally-owned conglomerate make me feel like I've facepalmed into a handful of superglue. I hope anyone with tropical fish tanks weren't too attached...
Hans Morefield November 02, 2011 at 07:41 PM
Lloyd, the NYSEG website has an easy to use feature that shows you which streets have outages and the target date for repair. Not a static, uninformative web site. Look under "Outage Central". We didn't have power for over three days, so I know the pain. I would love to have gotten power back sooner, but I also witnessed the effort it takes to re-connect. Near us there was a snapped pole and, around the corner (100 yards away), snapped wires with a massive tree lying on other wires. It took about 4 hours for three crews (separate trucks), working together (I never saw any loafing), to address these two scenes of devastation. This is not easy work and it's not always something a single truck can handle (repairing a broken pole is a big deal). There are hundreds of such devastation points, maybe thousands?, across Westchester alone, not to mention NYSEG's other service area. Exactly how many crews do we expect them to have? This storm was much worse than Irene, and with Irene at least everyone knew a hurrican was on its way. As to E.J.'s comment about them not working around the clock... I'm not sure I follow. How can an electrical crew work without sleeping?
Paul November 02, 2011 at 08:06 PM
One I think there's some irony in the main method of communication being based on needing electrical power (a web site). As to working around the clock I certainly don't expect any one crew to work 24 hours. However in an emergency - in the past - I've seen crews out at night. It's called a shift system. I haven't seen that this time. As to this storm being worse than Irene the Power Companies were quick to set our expectations that this was a fact. However is that really the case? Didn't Irene bring significant flooding (and not - at least in Bedford - a few inches of snow). I'm glad you've only not had power for three days. We've been out since Saturday. The non-static web site had us getting power back by tonight; now it's another day. No explanation, just log on an find you've another 24 hours to wait. This isn't about suggesting any of the crews are loafing, or that it's not a difficult task. Perhaps it's more questions about how well NYSEG (compared with their peers) react to problems and how much capacity they have to deal when weather strikes.
Paul November 03, 2011 at 01:40 PM
Another day - another day added to the return of power. Last scheduled for the 3rd in Bedford - now pushed to the 4th. I did hear a story- third hand- that one of the NYSEG workers had made a comment to a local business that no overtime was being approved as 'Irene has used all of the budget up'.
David November 03, 2011 at 02:02 PM
We've now been pushed back to Friday night. Still - I've only seen one NYSEG truck in either Bedford or Pound Ridge and I'm here most of the day. The trees and wires are still down on our street. Where are the crews? Are we missing something here?
Paul November 03, 2011 at 02:18 PM
Late yesterday on our street a supervisor came through assessing the damaging and writing up the supplies that would be needed. That I guess is the first sign. He said that they planned to do the work today (the 3rd) and that power might be back by the end of the day. However the NYSEG site has moved the completion date to the 4th this morning. So keep an eye out for any NYSEG surveyor.
Hans Morefield November 03, 2011 at 02:39 PM
I'm not sure whose responsibility it is to clear the trees; the NYSEG guys in the NYSEG trucks are not tree-cutters. Is NYSEG responsible for clearing the roads or is that the Town's responsibility. I don't know, but I know that is part of the problem.
Christopher Roberts November 03, 2011 at 05:09 PM
Hans, my understanding is that there is a separate "tree cutting" crew sub-contracted by the municipality that travels with the NYSEG crews (or *their* sub-contractor). They work together.
Christopher Roberts November 03, 2011 at 05:23 PM
This survey should separate two related, but distinct, issues: the speed with which NYSEG is restoring power; and, the quality of NYSEG's communications to customers about the restoration process and schedule. I'm inclined to give NYSEG the benefit of the doubt that they are working as quickly as they can. I assume it is in their best financial interest to restore power as fast as possible. But I am stunned at how poorly they are managing information and communications. Yes, it is an extremely difficult task. It would require a serious commitment of resources (money and people) and a sophisticated database, a thoughtful interface, and a complex set of protocols. But NYSEG does have those resources. They have available capital, and similar systems exist elsewhere that could be licensed and customized. If NYSEG made real-time, accurate reporting and scheduling a priority, it could be done. Obviously, the people in charge at NYSEG have decided that this aspect of customer service is *not* a priority. Upset or befuddled customers should consider how we can exert the necessary pressure to convince NYSEG to perform this part of their business better.
E.J. Kelley November 03, 2011 at 11:15 PM
Amen to Christopher. Yesterday I witnessed one frustrated customer conversing streetside with NYSEG crews (all of whom actually out working seem to be class acts in our encounters, always courteous to share whatever they know) and got a good chuckle after overhearing something along these lines: Customer: "I'm hoping you can give me some real answers, your people on the phone are clueless automatons." Lineman: "You don't need to tell us, we're stuck working with them!"
Nelson Salazar November 04, 2011 at 12:17 PM
I agree. The first few days of the outage had NYSEG reporting that every street would be repaired 11/4th. Clearly not a lot of effort when into accurate estimating. Although better estimating doesn't get our power back any sooner it does make planning how to ride out the outage much easier.
Nature Lady November 04, 2011 at 12:42 PM
From Associated Press YESTERDAY - HERE'S THE REAL STORY Biggest jump ever seen in global warming gases The global output of heat-trapping carbon dioxide jumped by the biggest amount on record, the U.S. Department of Energy calculated, a sign of how feeble the world's efforts are at slowing man-made global warming. The new figures for 2010 mean that levels of greenhouse gases are higher than the worst case scenario outlined by climate experts just four years ago. Let's work on the source of the problem!!!!!!!
David November 04, 2011 at 05:52 PM
Day six and finally there are crews on my street. Several trucks from Mass arrived this morning and are working on the lines. No promise of power being back soon, but at least it's progress.
john blanar November 07, 2011 at 03:56 AM
NYSEG had been sold to a company in Spain in 2008... My question what is going on here? Why is a foreign country allowed to purchase our electric companies? Now you can see why it is so bad... It is all about money.. homeland security should stop this... We all should call or email our senators etc.....


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