Westchester County residents without power are likely looking at another week-and-a-half in the dark.
On a press conference call this evening, Con Edison Senior Vice President of Electric Operations John Miksad said the "thousands" of restoration jobs throughout the county will likely not be complete until the end of next weekend, and even then, "There will be some stragglers that will go beyond that."
He reiterated, "We are allocating resources proportional to the damage and customer outages so we can bring it in a fair and efficient way."
Unlike Manhattan where multiple repairs can be made from a single location, the county has "thousands of jobs" that are "dispersed."
"It's thousands of jobs versus one localized area," Miksad explained. "That really is the main difference for restoration time."
Of the approximately 900,000 total Con Edison customers impacted by Hurricane Sandy this week, approximately 630,000 are still without power, he said.
In Westchester County, that number has dropped to approximately 151,096, according to the company's website.
"We are still assessing the damage in some of the hard to reach places," Miksad stated. "We have many customers whose basements are entirely flooded—including their electric equipment. We are isolating those customers from the grid until they repair their damaged equipment."
The repairs following the storm will likely end up costing "in the hundreds of millions of dollars," according to Miksad, though, the federal government may provide reimbursements.
In response to a reporter's inquiry about restoring power quickly to gas stations, Miksad replied the priorities still remain with the hospitals, nursing homes, water stations, etc. that are affected.
"We have a number of critical facilities," he said.
Given the criticism Con Edison has received about its response following Sandy so far, Miksad said, "We have been communicating very openly and candidly about the extent of the damage and the extent of the restoration efforts."
He continued, "I know people have to make plans—we don't want to blow smoke on this. We want to make sure people can plan their lives accordingly."