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Message from the Mayor: STORM RECOVERY UPDATE Evening November 7th
Fellow Residents –

The storm underway now should be largely done by the middle of the night.  It is a mess on the roads.  Chief Sarfaty of the Fire Department says that you should stay off the road - he knows what he is talking about.  While we have plows out, it’s coming down fast.  Don’t compound our first responder’s misery by getting yourself into trouble. Hunker down and don’t go out.

This remains essentialy nightmarish for those still out of power.   Several hundred homes remain without power, and yet progress today was essentially non-existent.   Promised crews at first did not show, and then those that did were either unable to accomplish much or were assessment teams that simply scoped out what I assume are (extremely) well-understood problems.  Some of these downed lines have been examined multiple times by now.  Even our Con Ed liaison was frustrated with the lack of progress.  We escalated to the County Executive’s office and had calls in the afternoon; we’re also escalating to the State and Federal level.  I suspect we simply join a din of howls, but that’s where we are.

I am struck by how our experience is echoed with the mayors of other local villages: you could cut-and-snip my complaint into an email  written by literally 80% of the mayors I have heard from.   There are still 41,000 residences out of power in Westchester, which you see after a typical moderately bad storm.  There are supposedly 3,000 crews from everywhere in the country here to help.  If that is so, and I no longer have any reason to believe anything I read or hear,  we wouldn’t know it. We have a statistically significant portion of those unlit homes and you wouldn’t know there’s an army of help out there based on what we are seeing these last two days.  

I will reiterate what I said last night:  if you are without power, about the only thing Con Ed can say (that I would trust) is that it will be restored.  Believe nothing regarding a specific time that Con Ed might tell you in person or by robocall regarding when the lights come on. We are now in a twilight zone moment where Con Ed is simply no longer a reliable partner.   I so very much wish it was otherwise, but that is where we are.   We’re past playing nice and are pursuing every avenue of complaint – the only problem is that so is everyone else and we are all frantic.  What a sad state of affairs.

Other pointers:

* 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.  Nobody knows anything. Especially Con Ed.

* 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.

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.

Finally, I will tell those of you who have reached out to me personally in the last 24 hours that I am swamped.   So many of you have reached out for updates and I very much understand and want to respond but if I don’t get back to you right away, my deepest apologies.  We are all just barely holding on.  We look back on this moment in time one day and just shake our heads.  Thank you for your perseverance and patience.

Sincerely,

Peter Swiderski
Mayor

Village of Hastings-on-Hudson, New York