Local News

February 18, 2013

Response to Wilmington power outage criticized



“Our employees who were in contact with Supervisor Preston provided the best information they had very early in the storm. At the time, winds were continuing to cause damage to our system, and our response was being adjusted accordingly. Under these changing conditions, it is not possible to provide perfect information.”


Preston said the gap between the information he was getting and the actual work of the repair crews was enormous.

“Someone should be designated to give you accurate information. I am thoroughly disgusted with NYSEG and their lack of information.”

Preston said the Governor’s Office was notified of the situation and is looking into the issue.

“The answers I got from NYSEG were not even close to accurate,” Preston said. “You could get more by driving around on the street than these calls from NYSEG. The most accurate information I got was the (Wilmington) Volunteer Fire Department going door-to-door.”


Supervisors Thomas Scozzafava (R-Moriah) and Sue Montgomery Corey (D-Minerva) said both NYSEG and the State Public Service Commission should be invited to a County Board of Supervisors meeting.

Preston said he’d welcome hearing from the utility about what happened.

“Their (NYSEG) crews were out there (during the blackout). The frustration was the communication part.”

Ellis said that estimated times of restoration often change as they receive more detailed information on the nature of damage to their system and determine how long it will take to repair it.

“This is particularly true early in a storm event. Also, we learned during Hurricane Sandy that our customers prefer worst-case estimated times of restoration rather than overly optimistic ones.”


Preston said they were not contacting NYSEG as customers, but as a municipality that needed accurate information to make important decisions affecting citizens who were without power or heat.

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