NY State Officials Call for Roundtable Discussion on Utilities' Preparedness

Nov 5, 2012

State Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther and Sullivan County Legislature Chairman Scott Samuelson want to sit down with top officials of the utilities that serve the region to discuss the preparedness of their companies on storm response.

“This is not a witch hunt,” said Gunther. “This is about making sure the communication between the utility companies, the public, and government officials during Hurricane Sandy is greatly improved for any future natural disaster.”

Gunther said the utilities had time to prepare for this storm, “but their response indicates that they did not. There’s a responsibility to the public that needs to be met, and this roundtable is about making sure that it is.”

Samuelson said there were “positive actions that the county requested from the power companies, which were fulfilled after an original weak response. There is a need for a representative of each utility to be present at our Emergency Operations Center during an event to pair public works crews with utility vehicles.”

The chairman said the workers who have responded to assist local residents are working hard. “However, there needs to be a more focused and results oriented response, along with accountability from the corporate leaders of these companies.”

Gunther and Samuelson sent letters to the CEOs of NYSEG, Orange and Rockland, Central Hudson, Time Warner Cable, Verizon Communications and Frontier Communications.