conedOctober 16, 2018 – In a meeting with County Executive Latimer, Con Edison President Tim Cawley, Assemblyman David Buchwald and a range of municipal leaders throughout Westchester, Con Edison updated the group of stakeholders on actions requested of Con Edison by municipalities to prepare for the coming winter season.

After last March’s storms, which left thousands in Westchester without power for days, Latimer expressed outrage and demanded change. Turning that outrage into action, Latimer and Buchwald formed “United Westchester” – a group aimed to bring all impacted parties together to advocate for change in the way utility companies handle severe weather and its effect on our power system. Following the March storms, United Westchester presented the utility companies with a report including recommendations on how to better prepare for the years ahead. This meeting was a status check on these findings.  

Latimer said: “We all know that we had a very difficult experience last March, and for a subsequent period of time after. Storms Riley and Quinn devastated Westchester, and the time and effort it took to recover from that created quite a dialogue over where we are and what we can do together to make this better. The United Westchester organization, a coalition of local governments, got together to identify what the priority issues were that we thought we needed to have progress made on. We are very happy to hear from Con Edison that eight out of ten major recommendations that came out of it are things that they are implementing.”

Among steps Con Edison is taking to improve its storm response are:

  • Investing $100 million in Westchester in the next four years to fortify its overhead electric-delivery system against severe storms like those that struck in March.


  • Creating a pilot program to remove hazardous trees on private property, and making improvements to storm staffing and customer communication flow by improving both the accuracy of the information provided to customers and the way it is sent. The enhancements were developed as the result recommendations from elected officials and community leaders since the March storms.


  • Seeking earlier access to contractors and mutual aid crews to come into the area and help with repairs, including ability to fly crews in, rather than drive, from more distant utilities in widespread regional storms. This would save days of response time.


  • The company is working with municipalities to identify critical roads throughout the area and will work with municipalities to clear those roads first.  Con Edison is also working with municipalities to identify and update critical community facilities that would receive priority restoration.


  • Additional training for municipal liaisons and improved information for municipalities. The liaisons are Con Edison employees assigned to provide information to municipal governments during outage restoration campaigns.

Cawley said: “The storms that wrecked our system in March were the continuation of a more-than-decade-long trend of increasingly severe weather events affecting our customers. With weather patterns changing and storms becoming more devastating, we want to take every step possible to fortify our equipment and make sure customers have the best restoration information possible so that they can make plans.”

Buchwald said: “United Westchester was organized on the principle that the extended outages of March are unacceptable. I am pleased that Con Edison is recognizing that fact and is taking tangible steps to ensure that going forward we have more reliable electric service.”

Latimer continued: “There is no way to predict the weather, but we know that if we are working in advance and cooperatively we have the best possible chance to not repeat last year. We approach this time with a certain vigilance, but a certain cooperation and understanding it takes local municipalities and the professionals of Con Edison together.”