Governor praises National Grid for ‘extraordinary job,’ slams RG&E

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 March 2017 at 2:39 pm

Photo from Andrew Cuomo’s Office: Governor Andrew Cuomo sees first-hand some of the storm damage in Monroe County today.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is praising National Grid for its response to the windstorm that left 170,000 National Grid customers without electricity.

When Cuomo spoke in Rochester today at about 11 a.m., National Grid had fewer than 7,000 customers left to restore.

The governor, however, said he is “displeased” with Rochester Gas & Electric. Cuomo directed the New York State Department of Public Service to conduct an immediate investigation into the RG&E’s preparation and response to the recent severe windstorms in Western New York and the Finger Lakes.

In the storm’s aftermath, more than 100,000 RG&E customers lost power, and three days after the storm more than 50,000 customers remain without electricity.

“In my opinion, RG&E did not do what they were supposed to do to be prepared,” Cuomo said. “We scrambled. We had 1,000 workers coming in to work with RG&E and to make up that shortfall.”

The governor said the Public Service Commission will review the RG&E response and conduct a full investigation afterwards as to RG&E’s preparedness, RG&E’s facility, and in bringing in other crews and other workers and actually using the mutual aid system.

“On the other hand, I want to applaud National Grid, which did an extraordinary job,” the governor said. “As I mentioned, 170,000 people without power and they are now down to 7,000 people without power. So they have done an extraordinary job. We are going to be asking National Grid to release some of their crews as they are in the area and send them over to assist RG&E in that restoration project.”

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