Calm Morning Brings More Power Outages to the 40th Senate District

Senator Murphy, Local Officials Still Waiting for PSC to Act

North Salem, NY - Residents in North Salem slept through their alarm this morning because another power outage blanketed parts of the rural town.  According to the National Weather Service, weather conditions for the early hours of August 16th were "calm" with some "Fog/Mist".  Local officials and residents are now asking why the lights were out...again.

Last month State Senator Terrence Murphy wrote to John Rhodes, Chairman of the Public Service Commission, requesting the regulating agency to take action to help local ratepayers.  The Senator requested a written response to his demand that NYSEG's franchise tag be reopened so another power company can takeover the chronically troubled region.  To date no response has been sent.

"NYSEG ratepayers cannot continue to live like this," Murphy said.  "The Public Service Commission regulates NYSEG and it is time for them to take action.  I have heard from dozens of frustrated residents who feel like they are being held hostage, forced to pay more for a service that they cannot depend on.  It's just not right."

Earlier today the State Senator representing much of NYSEG's Brewster Region sent another letter to Chairman Rhodes requesting the PSC's intervention.  Having heard from local officials that they were promised capital improvements in their communities for the past eight months yet they are still experiencing chronic power outages.

North Salem Supervisor Warren Lucas said, "We need help from the PSC.  We cannot continue to have multiple power outages a month affecting thousands of Town residents.  We need an investment in the infrastructure and the PSC is the only group that can require that from the electric company."

Earlier this year Supervisors from Somers and North Salem filed a complaint against NYSEG with the PSC over chronic power outages.  That was before winter storms Riley and Quinn wreaked havoc across the region leaving residents without power for more than a week.

As the Chairman of the New York State Senate's Committee on Investigations and Government Operations Senator Murphy hosted two hearings to explore the utility companies preparedness for Riley and Quinn.  Before the legislative session ended legislation he authored (S.7262A), which would reform how utility companies respond to storm and power outages, passed the Senate.