Cuomo Threatens To Pull Con Ed's License As Thousands Remain Without Power Week After Isaias

Sean Adams
August 11, 2020 - 8:40 am
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — It's been a week since Tropical Storm Isaias wreaked havoc on the Tri-State Area and tens of thousands are still waiting for the power to go back on as oppressive heat grips the region.

In the Woodhaven neighborhood of Queens, 79th Street near Juniper Park is still a mess of downed wires, sawed up trees and caution tape.

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A few blocks away on 89th Street, two giant trees are sitting on top of smashed cars, blocking the roadway.

"Disappointment and discontent that we're forgotten," said resident Arnold Roman, who sat a week without power frustrated at the slow pace of recovery. "It's the character of the people working, they have no integrity. They come in here and they work slowly, they take their time, a little work here, a little week there, and go home."

Of the nearly 12,000 outages being reported by Con Edison on Tuesday morning, City Councilman Donovan Richards tweeted that approximately 3,500 were in Queens. 

Related: Con Edison Reimbursing Customers For Food, Medications That Went Bad During Outages

He adds, "Time to end the power company monopoly."

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is threatening to pull Con Edison's license over its response to the storm.

"I am not bluffing, I don't bluff, your franchise can be revoked, Con Edison your franchise can be revoked, and I am as serious as a heart attack," Cuomo said Monday.

If the governor were to follow through, this would be historic. Con Ed traces its beginnings to 1823 and bears the name of the Wizard of Menlo Park, Thomas Alva Edison.

Cuomo made a similar threat last year.

In Westchester County, Executive George Latimer shares the frustration.

"People say, 'Well can't you talk to them and get my lights on?' We talk to them all day long. What I can't do is order them," Latimer said. "In my home community, I had trees down at every possible entrance into the neighborhood. I could not drive down the street that I live on and I had to park at a distance, I had to duck under wires nearest to my property before getting into my residence."

Con Edison said its singular focus is getting everybody back online.

The state's Public Service Commission will investigate the response to the storm.

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