Gov. Andrew Cuomo told Upstate New York’s electric companies to make sure Western New Yorkers get the service they need, if their power goes out.
Cuomo came to Cheektowaga, Wednesday, to oversee the state and local efforts to take on a vicious weather system that is bringing blizzard-like snow, high winds, and bitter cold to the Western New York region.
“When you combine the high winds with the sub zero temperatures we really have a very dangerous situation,” Cuomo reminded government officials and the power companies.
The governor aimed his harshest criticism at New York State Electric and Gas (NYSEG), and its parent company AVANGRID stemmming from their response to a massive windstorm nearly two years ago that knocked out power for days across Upstate New York.
When strong winds knocked out hundreds of thousands of electric customers, NYSEG’s response was so deficient, the state Public Service Commission threatened the company with millions of dollars in penalties.
Cuomo warned the power companies, “I really do call on the utilities to do a better job than they have done in the past,” and of NYSEG, the governor told the company, “NYSEG especially has to do a better job than they have done in the past storms, in terms of communicating the number of outages.”
A spokesman for AVANGRID, the parent company for NYSEG and Rochester Gas and Electric issued a written response to Gov. Cuomo’s criticism, that read in part, “NYSEG and RG&E begin proactively communicating in advance of storms to provide timely information to our customers and local officials about storm preparations, safety and outage information, and restoration times.”
The spokesman went further, “The Company is in direct contact with local municipalities, issues press releases, and directly emails customers with updates.”
Both National Grid and AVANGRID said, they also provide upstates to the public through social media channels on Twitter and Facebook.