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Lewisboro Officials Frustrated With NYSEG Response

LEWISBORO, N.Y. – Lewisboro town officials said they are frustrated by the NYSEG response to Saturday’s storm as most of the town still remains without power and no restoration times were immediately available.

“They’ve once again not had boots on the ground early enough,” said Supervisor Charles Duffy, who noted it could take as long as a week before everyone has power again. “This was not like Hurricane Irene – that was an entire eastern seaboard event. This time they should have other resources available. Diverting crews should be possible, but they are still in an assessment mode. We have just two line crews in Lewisboro today.”

Duffy and other town officials were working Monday out of the Town House, which was being powered by a generator. Power did come back on the Goldens Bridge community house at around 10:30 a.m.

The highway department was busy clearing roads, but Duffy said they couldn’t touch trees that were tangled in wires until NYSEG made sure the power was shut off.

“The news is horrific,” Duffy said. “Until the power is restored, the schools can’t open.”

Katonah-Lewisboro schools were closed on Monday and Superintendent Paul Kreutzer said he would wait until later in the day, after a conference call with NYSESG, before making a decision about Tuesday.

“We will take it on a day-by-day basis,” Kreutzer said. “We will make an assessment each day.”

Kreutzer said the school district has an automated calling system to inform parents of their school’s status.

“Even once power is restored, we would still need about six hours before we could open,” he said. “We need to warm up the rooms and do building checks. So far, we don’t have any pipes freezing.”

The district has been using generators at some of its buildings, but the power they supply is limited. The one at John Jay High is used primarily to supply electricity to the fuel pumps.

“Actually, our main concern is transportation,” Kreutzer said. “There are a lot of hanging limbs and wires out there.”

Meanwhile, the town has set up warming stations where residents can go to get warm, charge their phones and laptops, pick up dry ice, bottled water and non-potable water for toilet tanks. People can go to the Town House at 11 Main St., or any of the town’s three firehouses in South Salem, Goldens Bridge and Vista for those services.

Town and school officials were scheduled to have another conference call with NYSEG on Monday afternoon.

“It our role to be advocate for the community and put NYSEG on notice that they need to commit some assets to avoid events like this from becoming the normal,” Duffy said. “They need to do things like maintain their easements around power lines with certified arborists who can identify which types of trees are more likely to fall.”

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