Fellow Residents -
Perhaps the most frustrating day yet – aside from some assessment teams looking at the remaining damage, not a single restoration crew was in town today. Not one. Con Ed offered no good explanation other than they were allocated elsewhere and they once again proved a disconnect between what they say in the evening and what happens the next day. Howls were met with apologetic shrugs.
The mayors of the various village and towns in the Con Edison service area are experiencing very similar frustration – teams yanked unexpectedly, unreliable predictions, poor information. When this crisis has passed, there will be hearings and inquiries on these issues – very clearly, while this storm presented a historic challenge, there are huge issues with Con Ed’s resource allocation, information provision and planning. A number of residents reported Con Ed robocalls in the evening indicating they would be lit this morning, only to wake to the crushing disappointment of nothing but cold and dark. Cruel. I can only say that if you are without power, about the only thing Con Ed can say for certain is that it will be restored. Believe nothing about when until the lights come on. I’m sorry to be so
blunt, but I have seen too many people just crushed.
Almost too much to consider, the upcoming storm expected tomorrow is predicted to start mid-afternoon involve rain and wind and proceed through the night. Locally, it is likely to involve sustained winds of 20-30mph winds with gusts of forty or more. It may turn into the a wintery mix overnight. YOU ARE STRONGLY ADVISED TO SLEEP IN A LOWER STORY AWAY FROM POSSIBLE TREE IMPACTS if there are tall or overhanging trees in the vicinity. They may be weakened and this may be just what they need to go over. If you are unheated, and have doubts about handling temperatures likely to dip five degrees colder than we have seen, please accept the offers of housing from the Village (478-2344) or your family and friends.
We can only hope and pray (hard) that the storm will stay far enough to sea so that it impact is lessened. I hate to say it, but bring the flashlights and lanterns out, line up the batteries, and brace for impact. We just don’t know for sure, but I think we’ve learned to have an abundance of caution.
Onto the day’s updates:
* No Con Ed crews in town and so therefore no power restoration.
Cablevision and Verizon did some cable clearing that opened some roads to truck traffic, but other than that, nothing.
* Con Ed reports 450 homes in total are dark in our village out of 3100 (or 15%). We are aware of the large Hudson Heights cluster (the Mt. Hope hill), related environs immediately to the south (South Clinton and Stanley area), Hopke, and a fragment of Burnside. Con Edison did not promise anything for tomorrow, but given their track record, I no longer believe anything is gained from reporting it even if they did promise since their predictive accuracy as of late hovers at 0%.
* The High School will be keeping its library open until 8 or 9PM at night for those who need internet access and a warm, well-lit place to study. The Community Center is being used as a voting location, but the Court Room will be open as well until 10PM and is warm, well-lit and with wifi.
* I’m sure you’ve reported your outage here:
* Equalize Fitness at One Odell Plaza just south of the Village on Broadway continues to offer free hot showers to anyone who needs it at the gym facility.
* Please DO NOT call the police with an expectation for updates on power.
* The Fire Department has the following advice if you are without power and would like to take some actions to lessen the likelihood that your pipes might freeze tomorrow:
- Disconnect garden hoses and shut off and drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets. This reduces the chance of freezing in the short span of pipe just inside the house;
- Turn on internal hot and cold faucets slightly as running water will not freeze as quickly;
- Identify location of water valves to shut off supply in the event of a burst pipe;
- Never thaw a frozen pipe with an open flame or torch.
- And in the unlikely event that you have the time, locate and insulate pipes most susceptible to freezing, typically near outer walls, crawl spaces and attics;
* Stop by the café at Hillside School on Wednesday at 7PM at a PTSA-sponsored presentation by Marek Fuchs, one of Hastings’ own firefighters (and a well-known author and journalist in his day job). He will talk about his new and very timely book, “Local Heroes: portraits of American volunteer firefighters”. Other authors will be present – this is part of a book fair underway at that time.
* Please remember that most home insurance will cover food spoilage in times of outages. And I have also heard a call to your phone and/or cable providers will result in a healthy credit to your bill if you were out during the storm as well.
These emails are posted upon issuance at the Community Center, at the Municipal Building, and library. The next update will be tomorrow NIGHT at 8PM. You can also call 478-2511 to hear these emails read in full within an hour of posting.
For those left in homes still un-powered, this is going to get cold: don’t be a hero and stick it out. There are beds (over 100!) in warm rooms in houses of your neighbors who want to help. Call 478-2344 and you will be warm shortly thereafter. Neither the Village nor Con Ed has forgotten you, though today it may justifiably feel that way. We continue to work closely with Con Ed to try to facilitate what is a very difficult and lengthy process along. And we will continue to report until the very last one of you are restored.
May the weather tomorrow not curse us further and may you be blessed with warmth and health.