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ALBANY – Governor Cuomo on Thursday
wrote to the presidents of all of New York's utility companies, including
those serving the Hudson Valley and Catskills telling them the buck stops
at their desks in terms of system restorations following the devastation
brought on by Hurricane Sandy.
In the Hudson Valley and Catskills alone, well over 400,000 people lost
electricity and hundreds of thousands are still in the dark with companies
like Orange and Rockland Utilities saying it could take seven to 10 days
before people are back on line. Others, like Central Hudson Gas and Electric,
say the vast majority of their customers should have service restored
within a day.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, New Yorkers are faced with responding
to its continued harsh impacts on literally every facet of life. I recognize
there are men and women in the field now working hard to restore service,
and we are grateful for their efforts. But it is your job to provide them
with adequate resources and support to get the job done in a timely and
safe manner. Utilities, like elected officials, are vested with the public’s
trust. In the case of utilities, in exchange for conducting business and
generating profits for their shareholders, they are entrusted to provide
safe and adequate utility service. When they fail to keep the public’s
trust, they must answer.
In letters to the presidents of Central Hudson, O&R and NYSEG, the
governor said government had time to prepare for the storm.
“The public depended on utilities to prepare for such an event,
respond to emergencies and to return, as quickly as possible, to providing
safe and adequate electricity. The response of your companies to this
emergency will be, in great part, a function of how well you prepared
for it and a testament to how seriously you view this responsibility.”
But, if they failed to prepare, New Yorkers should not have to suffer,
Cuomo said. If they turns out to be the case, he said he would direct
the state Public Service Commission “to commence a proceeding to
revoke your Certificates.”