Con Ed: Restoration Underway; Dry Ice Distribution

Con Edison officials say it may be between seven to 10 days before power is restored in Westchester.

The estimated 171,958 Westchester County Con Edison customers still without power on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. may be in the dark for several more days, officials said this afternoon.

On a press conference call, John Miksad, senior vice president of electric operations for Con Edison, said the company is distributing its resources "to get the most bang for the buck."

In the county, "I would think it would be the last customers in a week or better kind of range," he stated in response to a reporter's inquiry about restoration times.

But he added later that a 10-day wait time could be "in the ball park" for area residents.

"We are talking about another storm of the century a year after the last storm of the century," Miksad reiterated.

To help expedite service restoration, Con Edison teams are being assisted by 1,400 external contractors and mutual aid workers from across the country—even as far west as California.

Con Edison will be distributing dry ice in the areas it serves, beginning at 4 p.m. today.

In Westchester County, distribution will take place at Yonkers Raceway (810 Yonkers Ave.). There will also be company personnel on-site to answer residents' questions.

"Instructions for safe handling and disposal of dry ice are printed on the bag for residents who pick up dry ice," Con Edison said in a statement. "Dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide and should be used only in well-ventilated areas. Keep children and pets safely away."

Bjorn Olsson November 01, 2012 at 10:51 AM
Although Sandy is an extreme case, when it comes to the several multi-day outages we see every single year, they are almost entirely ConEd's fault for continuing to leave the wires up in the air on wooden poles. If lines were underground, there would be little need for 24 hour heroics after every storm.
Bjorn Olsson November 01, 2012 at 10:52 AM
There should be no need for workers to put themselves at that kind of risk every time a tree falls. Bury the power lines.
Bjorn Olsson November 01, 2012 at 11:00 AM
Most of western Europe has done this work and power outages are rare, massive week-long ones are pretty much unheard of. Maybe if utilities were liable for some of the true costs inflicted on households and businesses by these all too common blackouts, they would be better motivated to make the necessary investments to avoid them.
Laura Jodice November 01, 2012 at 11:22 AM
Westchester is one of the wealthiest communities in the nation, yet the infrastructure has gone way downhill. I grew up in Rye, but lived elsewhere as an adult. Every time i visit the decline is more pronounced. Over the years, trees have become way overgrown and everywhere you drive ther are large limbs near powerlines. My childhood home has a large bundle of power lines and cable lines across it. Stuff has just been added to these lines over time, but many of the poles seem to be leaning over and old. When things settle down, a serious plan to bury lines needs to be developed and implemented. These outages don't just cost lost job time, they are life threatening. Especially in the winter. The community I live in now has a much lower tax rate, lower cost of living, and all lines are buried. If the power goes out, the fix is usually fairly quick.
Charly November 01, 2012 at 12:21 PM
Having power lines above ground is maybe appropriate for 3rd world countries, but not for the leading nation of the world. It's unsafe costing every year many peoples lives, billions of dollars to restore, and more billions of dollars of lost created value for the economy. As many many others mentioned, in Western Europe power lines are buiried in the ground since world war II. Power outages are literally unheard of. To stay on top, the US needs a leading infrastructure, so please stop the debate and show action. Invest the billions needed, burying the lines will create jobs that are also needed right now and improve all our lives. Where are you, Mr. President? This is kitchen logic simple!
ted bitter November 01, 2012 at 12:52 PM
For the person who wants me to compliment Con Ed when I flick my switch and the lights come on. I do that every month when I pay their very large and Bloated bill. Maybe we should reduce their large corporate salaries and pay t hem according to their delivery of service.
Lifelong PC November 01, 2012 at 01:07 PM
Could not agree more...my thanks is the money I earn going to them to keep the power on and enough trained linesmen to deal with outages in THEIR areas...not NYC. I'll tell you this much, having such a large immigrant population in PC was a bonus when it came time to clear the trees...they jumped out in force with hatchets and chainsaws and had trees cleared before the storm was even over.
ted bitter November 01, 2012 at 01:16 PM
I pay over $200 per month for my house and $1700 for my business both are out of power and I may be forced to go out of business if I have to wait another two or three days. That puts my small staff out of work and further hurts the economy. I don't want anyone telling me I should be grateful to a failed private Utility who has not addressed the on going problems of outage. It happens every year.
FJT November 01, 2012 at 01:28 PM
You're right, Laura. We are overtaxed and underserved in Westchester and that's how those who profit from the corruption like it. Until people demand that the corruption be rooted out, it will only get worse. You wrote, "The community I live in now has a much lower tax rate, lower cost of living, and all lines are buried. If the power goes out, the fix is usually fairly quick." This is true of most of the US, but not Westchester where we pay the most to get the least.
FJT November 01, 2012 at 01:38 PM
Some parts of Port Chester never lost power during the storm. I don't think Con Ed has restored anything here. If people in PC have power today, odds are they never lost it during the storm. Good luck to you. I'm sorry so many people have to go through so much frustration and inconvenience, especially since much of it could have been avoided had power lines been buried underground years ago.
niecey November 01, 2012 at 01:46 PM
I'm with you on that one. I live in PC and work in White plains and I haven't seen on Con Ed truck yet?
niecey November 01, 2012 at 01:52 PM
Verizon is doing a better job than Con Ed. I've seen a lot of Verizon trucks but not one Con Ed
Racman63 November 01, 2012 at 01:56 PM
Third day driving and still not a ConEd truck to be seen between White Plains and P.C. All/most of the trees have been cleared by Highway Dept. where possible. As for those saying we should count our blessings let me say this: For those of us w/ little children and for the elderly, this is not an adventure. It's damn right dangerous. We've been told 10 days, Okay. I'm ready to go for ten days, but I'm keeping ALL of my receipts for food and other provisions, and for every day this goes beyond 10 days, I will be including the receipts in my furture Con Ed billing statements less the money due. Last night the house temp went down to 50 degrees. I don't care about myself, but my kids! And now I'm going to get political: Every time there's a natural disaster anywhere in the world, NYC and environs ALWAYS, ALWAYS respond with manpower, material and money. (who among us didn't donate to the Red Cross post Katrina?) If the rest of the country wants to learn the hard lesson that the tri-State area is the engine that runs the economy of this country, then just keep sitting back watching the pictures of our devestation on the news channels. Message to the rest of the United States of America: SEND UTILITY CREWS NOW! You take NYC out and you'll be taking yourself out.
Jeff Kent November 01, 2012 at 02:09 PM
The lines I've seen down in my neighborhood (but not on my street) are completely destroyed. Multiple LARGE trees taking down all lines and ripping some poles in half. This is not going to be an easy fix. Does it suck? Yeah, but when the power comes back on I still have my house and my family. I consider myself lucky.
KAG November 01, 2012 at 02:42 PM
I agree with Linda. If Con Ed would communicate what was going on instead of giving us a vague estimate of 2 - 10 days we would be less anxious and more willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.
Brian Moloney - The Freelance Retort November 01, 2012 at 02:49 PM
Just spotted 2 Con Ed repair trucks in Port Chester a short while ago and a supervisor surveying South Regent street.
niecey November 01, 2012 at 03:28 PM
Great. I hope its not to much longer.
Paula November 01, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Some traffic lights came on in White Plains' South end which were not on yesterday. (Downtown had traffic lights yesterday) That's some progress. I also saw two small unmarked white vehicles that had Con Ed workers doing something at the corner of Ridgeway and Albemarle. I asked on of the Con Ed guys how long he thought it would take to fix that particular neighborhood and he say, "Probably about a week." I know that's a guesstimate, but at least it gives a feeling of hope that they aren't abandoned, which is how many of the Colonial Corners residents felt yesterday.
Paula November 01, 2012 at 04:14 PM
I checked in on some older people who live on Prescott to see how they are doing and they had power but no cable, internet and phone. They asked if I had a portable dvd player and I do. If anyone else has one, think about anyone you might know who has power but no cable. It's an easy way to help. While visiting this person, I commented on how lucky they are to have power and the wife said, yes, but our neighbor doesn't, so we threw a multi-plug extension cord from our window to theirs and now they can at least run their medical equipment. That's something people can also think of - if you have power and your neighbor does not.
mimi November 01, 2012 at 05:27 PM
I totally agree. Roads without traffic lights are very dangerous. All drivers should use caution when crossing the road even though one has right. This morning a driver passed a T-road without slowing down and even horned for a car which took a left turn before this car. I think the driver who horned was insane. Has he/she noticed that there was simply no working traffice light and shouldn't he/she slow down when cross the road even with a working traffic light?
mimi November 01, 2012 at 05:37 PM
Charly and FJT - I couldnt' agree with you two more. It's unbelievable to tell the world that we lost power for more than 10 days after the hurricane while we live in the 2nd richest county in NY State and the 7th richest count across US. Let's cut the BS and simply bury the power lines and then everybody will be happy.
Lifelong PC November 01, 2012 at 06:05 PM
That would be a bonus...I live right off S. Regent...
Lisa D November 01, 2012 at 06:27 PM
On Tuesday 10/30 I contacted Con Edison and was told that priority is given to the more populated regions that have lost power, then they go from there. The next day a different rep denied those claims although it is clearly stated in the FAQs on the website. In Yonkers between Yonkers Ave and Bronx River Road we have outages in building complexes and businesses. However some of our neigbors are with full power. There is a electrical pole hanging onto Bronx River Road and obvious down wires that have been left unnoticed. No heat, hot water or electricity and Con Ed is boosting about restoring power to Manhattan. I guess we will stay on the lower priority list as "Pending". Outragous and cruel. The point is we need to understand that these crude way of accessing power which needs to change. Why do we have hazardous electrical wires tangled in trees again? Hazardous to the works that have to fix it & residents. It's completely archaic and dumb. Stop crying over how much work you have con Ed execs & think outside your pockets and self preservation.
Sidney Portman November 02, 2012 at 01:59 AM
The last time I read about it several years ago, the cost of burying power lines...and now you have to include phone lines, cable lines and fiber optic lines...was around $2500 per foot. Of course, it depends on urban or suburban terrain. But let's start with a city block as a standard. There are 20 city blocks in a mile..and a mile is 5280 feet, so a block has 264 feet. At $2500 per foot, that's $660,000 per block. Let's cut that in half for suburban settings and you have $330,000 per block. There are a lot of blocks in Westchester. There are also permitting issues, the line owners ability to pay and just plain politics. So while burying seems a natural solution, in the real world the cost is well beyond what most companies and municipalities could, or are willing, to pay.
Bjorn Olsson November 02, 2012 at 02:19 AM
You have to start somewhere, make it code for all new construction, then work your way backwards. This is the wealthiest nation in the world by far, why settle for 3rd world infrastructure? And what is the cost to society as a whole of a massive two-week outage?
FJT November 02, 2012 at 12:54 PM
Over 40% of Americans don't have $500 to their name. And most who have money saved will not have enough to retire on. This is not the wealthiest nation in the world, as you've been led to believe. We're a debtor nation that's now printing billions out of thin air, and debt does not equate to wealth because the piper has to be paid at some point. I do agree with the rest of your post.
Paula November 02, 2012 at 03:54 PM
I just want to say that the power came on at 2am this morning to the Colonial Corners part of White Plains. It is just a relief because residents were told that it looked like they wouldn't have power until next week. I also want people to know that the gas situation is not as bad on Rte 1 in CT. There really are not long lines there.
Bjorn Olsson November 03, 2012 at 10:47 PM
Those problems are structural rather than stemming from a lack of wealth as a nation.Wealth is very unevenly distributed compared to other western nations, but most of the national debt is owed to americans, not to China, as some people seem to think. Lot of alarmist nonsense about how the US somehow is on the road to becoming Greece is nonsense, as soon as the economy starts recovering for real a lot of the deficits will evaporate. To return to the topic at hand: the countries surrounding the US on the wealthiest nation's lists that I know something about, certainly have their power lines underground for the most part.
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Elizabeth November 13, 2012 at 04:31 AM
Now that it's all over (pretty much anyway) which is better, dry ice or regular? I got the regular ice because I'm afraid of dry ice. I have been cooking ever since, it has kept things slowly melting, the way you are supposed to defrost anyway. We just ate chicken that has been defrosting for 11 days... not sick yet. Tastes perfectly fine. Even the chopped meat and beef stayed fresh. The pork chops? Pee Uuuuu! Waste of money... hope this never happens again, that's for sure.


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