County Leaders Plan to Testify About Recent Power Outages   

Monticello, NY – The March blizzard and the days which followed proved extraordinarily challenging to many residents of Sullivan County, due not only to the harsh weather and closed roads but the long-lasting blackouts.

Thus legislators will join County Manager Josh Potosek and Deputy County Manager Dan Depew later this month in testifying before the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC). NYS Senator John Bonacic has organized two PSC public hearings for Wednesday, April 25 at the Monticello Firehouse, 23 Richardson Avenue, Monticello – one at 2 p.m., another at 6 p.m.

“My colleagues and myself want to let the PSC know how devastating this storm was to Sullivan County, compounded by the time it took for our local electric utilities to muster enough crews to adequately address the Countywide power outages,” Legislature Chairman Luis Alvarez explained. “I thank Senator Bonacic for giving us this important opportunity, and I encourage everyone to take advantage of it.”

“For days after the snowstorm, I didn’t know of anyone in the southern part of the County who had electricity service, including myself,” remarked Legislature Vice Chair Nadia Rajsz. “The lack of power also cut off landline, cellphone and Internet service, leaving people trapped in their homes with no way to communicate the emergencies they were facing.”

“Thousands of people spent days in the cold and the dark, many struggling with health, shelter and safety issues they couldn’t resolve without the restoration of power,” noted District 5 Legislator Terri Ward, chair of the Legislature’s Public Safety Committee. “And they’re still cleaning up from the storm.”

“While I recognize it took time for crews to restore service after such widespread destruction of poles and wires, it appeared the utility companies serving much of Sullivan County were woefully unprepared to respond as promptly as we needed,” District 1 Legislator Scott Samuelson stated.

“Adding our voices to the PSC hearing will ensure Sullivan County’s concerns are well-represented,” explained County Manager Josh Potosek. “While we can’t stop blizzards and other storms from impacting us, utility companies can and must work with us to be better prepared for them.”

The hearing is open to all, but if you cannot attend, you are welcome to comment in the following ways before May 22, 2018:
• Call 1-800-335-2120 any day and time. Press “1” to leave comments about the March 2018 Winter Storms (Matter 18-00618).
• Visit www.dps.ny.gov and enter 18-00618 in the search option on the homepage. After opening the cases, click on the “Post Comments” tab at the top of the page.
• Email PSC Secretary Kathleen Burgess at secretary@dps.ny.gov with the subject line “Comments on Matter 18-00618”.
Send a letter to Secretary Kathleen Burgess, NYS Department of Public Service, Three Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12223-1350. Be sure to reference “Matter 18-00618” in the body of the letter.

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