With more than 1,400 reported customer outages in Westchester County as of 1:15 p.m. on Monday, Con Edison continues to bring in outside crews to help restore power.
At a press conference in Manhattan Monday, Senior Vice President of Electric Operations John Miksad told reporters the company is gearing up for one serious storm.
"We are expecting a record-size storm," he stated. "We are expecting also record-size outages."
Con Edison serves almost 350,000 customers in Westchester and has been working alongside the Westchester County Office of Emergency Management, as well as local municipalities, in preparation for Hurricane Sandy's worst.
"We have all Con Edison employees on the ready—working 12 to 16 hours per day around the clock," Miksad said.
And in a similar fashion to Hurricane Irene's response, the company had made a call out to utility companies and contractors across the country to aid in responding to New York City and Westchester.
"We have brought in [about] 700 crews from around the country and are in the process of obtaining more," he said.
As locals begin to see heavier rain and higher winds, Miksad urges residents to be safe.
"We expect outages can go for some number of days," he revealed. "We would ask our customers to keep their safety first and foremost on their minds."
This type of storm may prove to be especially dangerous in the suburbs, he added.
"If there are wires down, that is complicated by trees and tree limbs covering them," Miksad stated. "It's also complicated by the fact that we could have significant amounts of pooled water in the streets. That could also camouflage those wires."
He advised residents "don't go anywhere near a downed wire" and "always assume a wire that is down is energized."
Report all outages to Con Edison at 800-75-CONED or electronically at www.coned.com—"Don't assume that we know," he noted.
Miksad said the company will be sending crews to areas with the most customers affected first.
In anticipation of power outages, he offered the following advice:
- Charge cell phone
- Turn refrigerator and freezer to the coldest settings
- Collect water in pots or in a bathtub
- Make sure you have batteries
- Locate flashlights and candles, but be careful with candles
Said Miksad, "[The power] doesn't go out very often because of our very high, reliable service; but we just want to make sure our customers are prepared if they do go out today or tomorrow."