Calling the remaining power outages in Westchester and Nassau counties “truly terrible,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo dialed up the anger he has directed at the state’s utility companies, telling reporters Monday that he’s “not happy with any of them.
As of Cuomo’s 5:15 p.m. briefing, about 480,000 customers remained without power in downstate New York, down from a high of about 2.1 million after Superstorm Sandy hit last week.
“To say that I am angry, to say that I am frustrated, disappointed, would be the understatement of the decade,” Cuomo said. “I think the utility companies have not performed adequately. I have let them know that.”
Cuomo has repeatedly expressed frustration with the various utility companies over the past week. Earlier Monday, his director of state operations said the performance of New York State Electric & Gas has been “abysmal” and said Orange & Rockland’s outages have been as bad or worse.
“I am not happy with any of them,” Cuomo said Monday evening. “You want to celebrate what Con Ed did in Manhattan? I want to complain about what Con Ed hasn’t done in Westchester and hasn’t done in the outer boroughs. I’m not happy with National Grid. I’m not happy with Orange & Rockland.”
Again, Cuomo threatened repercussions if the power utilities can’t get the lights back on.
“The utilities … were not created in the Bible. They’re not in the Old Testament; they’re not in the New Testament. God never said, ‘New York shall have these utilities forever and Con Ed is the utility and there’s nothing you can do about it. It’s really not in the Bible. Really, we made that decision as a people through the government. And what we say to the utilities are we are going to give you, in essence, a franchise, a license, a charter to perform a service, but you have to perform a service. And it has to be fair and it has to be professional, and you have to be reimbursed at a fair rate. If you don’t perform the service basically, then don’t ask consumers to pay the bill. And if you can’t provide the service, then we’ll find another vendor who can.”