With the backdrop of hurricane season and the number and intensity of storms growing, Con Edison this week announced plans to spend $100 million over the next four years to make Westchester overhead electrical system more storm resilient.
Con Edison President Timothy Cawley made the announcement on Oct. 16 with county government officials who had been critical of the company’s performance during Nor’Easters last Spring. The announcement was made alongside County Executive George Latimer, Deputy County Executive Ken Jenkins, Assemblyman David Buchwald and other elected officials at the utility’s offices in Rye.
Cawley unveiled a multi-faceted plan that addressed issues with customer communications, mutual aid, and storm preparation. He said the company planned to focus on drawing repair crew from the west coast for assistance rather than relying on East Coast crews who may be overwhelmed responding to damage close by. He added that he hoped a big sticking point during past storms – communication with customers – would be resolved by new procedures to keep customers better informed through text messaging and other means on time estimates for power restoration.
“We’re also improving our communications with municipal officials so they know what’s happening in their towns in terms of outages and crews and locations and they can help serve their residents and our customers better,” Cawley said.
Cawley also reported that the company is planning to expand its tree trimming and removal programs, strengthen its communication with municipalities and work municipality-by-municipality to identify critical roads and facilities that will receive priority for clearing of debris and rebuilding of downed lines.