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Serino, Murphy Call For Hearings On Utilities' Slow Nor'easter Response

State Sens. Sue Serino and Terrence Murphy have called for legislative hearings to investigate delays in utility companies' response to Winter Storm Riley and prolonged power outages.
State Sens. Sue Serino and Terrence Murphy have called for legislative hearings to investigate delays in utility companies' response to Winter Storm Riley and prolonged power outages. Photo Credit: Provided

State Senators Sue Serino and Terrence Murphy on Tuesday called for legislative hearings to investigate the slow response by utility companies in restoring electricity after Winter Storm Riley.

The senators announced the need for a probe just as another Nor-easter approached New York.

The senators represent parts of the state that were hardest hit by the Friday storm, prompting Gov. Andrew Cuomo to declare states of emergency in Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties.

Sen. Murphy of Yorktown, who is chairman of the State Senate's Committee on Investigations and Government Operations, called for a hearing to examine the storm preparedness and response by regional utility companies.

Murphy said, "Here in the Hudson Valley we have experienced multiple blackouts over the past few months, winter price hikes and now a subpar performance in response to this latest storm. Residents and our partners in government are beyond frustrated with the poor performance and deserve answers as to what steps were taken in preparation and what needs to be done in the future."

Sen. Serino of Hyde Park said, "In the aftermath of the storm, I traveled to Putnam County to see first-hand the recovery efforts that were underway. . . .  It was clear to me that our local municipalities and the county were working tirelessly. . . . but there seemed to be an absolute disconnect when it came to the utility company's role."

Serino added, "Any delay in recovery is costing our municipalities significantly and the people of the Hudson Valley deserve answers."

Town of Somers Supervisor Rick Morrissey said, "NYSEG continues to release misinformation and fail in its responsibility to local ratepayers."

Town of Carmel Supervisor Ken Schmitt added, "NYSEG's response was horrible. . . . We deserve results and must see the (power outage) numbers are coming down."

New Castle Town Supervisor Rob Greenstein said, "Con Ed dropped the ball, once again. . . . We are outraged by their delayed response."

Town of Pawling Supervisor James Schmitt said, "People deserve answers. . . .Enough is enough."

Town of North Salem Supervisor Warren Lucas said, "We look forward to Senator Murphy and Senator Serino uniting the communities of our region in an effort to get the answers we deserve."

Details of the hearing will be announced once cleanup and full restoration have been completed.

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