Governor Puts Spotlight on NYSEG Ahead of Strong Winds

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Cheektowaga, NY (WBEN) - As the main worry of the winter storm turns from snow to the strong winds, Governor Andrew Cuomo had some strong words for utility companies who may soon be faced with power outages.

"I want the utilities to hear me today," Cuomo said. "We expect a better level of service than we have been getting... in terms of both communication of the problem, and resolution of the problem."

Cuomo directed his words to one company in particular.

"NYSEG especially has to do a better job than they have done in past storms in terms of communicating the number of outages. They should be at the emergency operations center, and when they know about an outage, we should know about an outage."

"The utilities have contractual obligations to be able to handle a storm."

NYSEG took issue with Cuomo's assessment. “NYSEG begins proactively communicating in advance of storms to provide timely information to our customers and local officials about storm preparations, safety and outage information, and restoration times, NYSEG Spokesman Kevin Ortiz said in a statement. The Company is in direct contact with local municipalities, issues press releases, and directly emails impacted customers with updates.” 

The company pointed to a series of tweets from a snowstorm earlier this month in Sullivan county as a way they reach out to customers.

The Governor previously called for an investigation into NYSEG after a 2017 wind storm knocked out power throughout Western New York.