YORKTOWN, N.Y.— Two Yorktown council members are continuing their call for power companies to be held accountable after some residents have been left in the dark for almost a week.
Jim Martorano and Nick Bianco stood on Quinlan Street Thursday afternoon with disgruntled residents who are still without power, calling for answers from utility companies. The pair noted that this many days without power has become a bigger issue than just a lack of electricity.
“This is not merely inconvenient, it is a public health and safety issue,” Bianco said. “We are freed up and we are not going to take it anymore.”
Bianco asked what the companies did before the storm to prepare, what they plan to do for future storms and what takes so long for them to respond after.
Martorano and Bianco have been extremely vocal in calling for other members of local government to step up and demand answers from the various power companies about the response in restoring power. On Thursday, they said they would call on the Governor and Legislature to demand answers from the New York State Gas and Electric Company.
Martorano echoed Bianco’s sentiments and stressed that others needed to intervene to see what could be done in the future.
“What concerns me is looking forward. This is a tragedy right now, but are we going to have another tragedy in a month," Martorano said. "We’ve got a winter coming up, who knows how many times we’re going to have outages and what the ramifications are going to be, so we want answers now and we want the Governor to intervene.”
Resident Brian McNamara estimated he lost $2,500 worth of food between this storm and Tropical Storm Irene due to the power outages. He stressed that he wants his power back from this storm as soon as possible, but he also wants someone to look into why his street loses power dozens of times during the year, many times when there’s no storm at all.
“In the eight years I’ve been back here, we’ve lost power so many times, sometimes for no apparent reason and for all different periods of time, and we never get a straight answer from anyone,” he said. “I can understand this is a massive storm and there are leaves on the trees, I totally understand that. The main part of the problem is there’s obviously something wrong with the line that feeds the area. This is concerning, especially because today we’re going on six days of no power at this point and last night was the coldest night yet and it was absolutely brutal.”
The residents in attendance, including McNamara, his neighbor Eddie Ferrand and former councilman and Quinlan Street resident Lou Campisi commended the two council members for demanding answers after the storm.
“I haven’t seen anybody else from the town board around,” said Campisi, who was still without power as of Thursday afternoon. “People here have problems, and these two gentlemen are actually trying to help us.”