A week after Super Storm Sandy slammed into the northeast and left thousands of Yorktown residents in the dark days, the majority of residents (ConEd and NYSEG customers) have had their power restored.
Yorktown Supervisor Michael Grace, along with town and police officials as well as representatives from the two companies – ConEd and NYSEG – held a press conference on Monday to update residents on the progress made after the storm.
"I know a lot of criticism is coming their way or has come their way already, but as far as the town of Yorktown is concerned, I want to state unequivocally that both utilities, as far as I'm concerned, have been acting very diligently," Grace said. "Their crews are working overtime and they have worked in cooperation with the the town personnel to get things done in what I think has been an expeditious manner."
Grace said close to 90 percent of the town has had its power restored and crews have been working overtime to untangle debris from wires, make sure those wires are not live and restore power.
He said he wanted to thank both utility companies for working "diligently" following what officials are calling an "unprecedented storm" because of the type of damages it left. The damages to that critical infrastructure, such as poles and transformers, is what has made the power restoration prolonged, Grace said.
NYSEG expects that "virtually all customers" will have power restored by midnight Wednesday, Nov. 7. Bob Pass, a representative for NYSEG, said the company remained focused on restoring power to critical customers first and ensuring the safety of employees and residents.
Con Edison had also been prioritizing areas where large numbers of customers could be restored at once. Mark Drexel, a Yorktown resident and ConEd representative, said on Monday that there are currently 15 crews (or 40 people) working in Yorktown.
"This was definitely an unprecedented storm," Yorktown Councilman Terrence Murphy said. "I've never seen so many downed wires and snapped poles. I can't believe how many transformers are laying on people's yards."
Yorktown's public safety officer Larry Eidelman said the town of Yorktown is "far better off" than other neighboring communities in the aftermath because of the town's emergency operation center and the coordination of efforts among utility companies, police and town officials.
The Yorktown Community and Cultural Center has been operating as an emergency shelter since last Tuesday where residents have gotten a chance to warm up, charge their electronic devices, get a hot meal or hot cup of coffee. Since last week, more than 1,000 people had visited and more than 100 people have slept over.
Eidelman warned residents of the upcoming Nor'easter, which will likely bring high winds, rain and possibly snow to the region beginning Wednesday afternoon and into Thursday, and asked them to restock whatever supplies they might may have used over the last week.
The town of Yorktown lifted the declared State of Emergency on Sunday, but residents are still requested to limit their travel so emergency workers can continue to clear fallen trees and wires to restore electrical power.
"Please try to combine your vehicle trips," Grace said. "Do everything you can."
Price gouging in the area has been one of the problems post-Hurricane Sandy. The Attorney General's Office has received hundreds of complaints from consumers across the state. To file a complaint call 800-771-7755 or log on to Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman's website to make a complaint.
FEMA has issued a major disaster declaration (MDD) for Westchester County – making the county eligible for both public and individual assistance. To find out how you can apply for assistance call 1-800-621-FEMA or www.disasterassistance.gov.
Meanwhile, Tuesday, Nov. 6 is the general election and all voting locations in Yorktown are open.
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