Gov. Cuomo calling for RG&E investigation
Rochester, N.Y. - For the second day, Governor Andrew Cuomo was in Rochester, but this time he delivered a harsh message to RG&E, calling for a state investigation.
The Governor says RG&E wasn't prepared for Wednesday's winds. He also said it wasn't ready to respond to the damage those winds left behind.
According to Cuomo, over 100,000 RG&E customers lost power during Wednesday's storm. More than 40,000 remain without power as of late Saturday afternoon.
A vast majority of the remaining outages are in Monroe County, specifically Greece and Irondequoit where states of emergency remain in place.
Cuomo has called for an additional 1,000 workers from Long Island, Canada, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia to help.
At the briefing, the governor went on to say the goal is to restore power in Monroe County by Sunday night.
Cuomo also announced that 200 National Guardsmen arrived Saturday morning to assist with cleanup and help at emergency shelters.
Governor Cuomo surveyed storm damage in Greece while meeting the national guard here to help local crews clean up and restore power to thousands.
"In my opinion," he said in a press conference, "RG&E did not do what they needed to do to be prepared."
Governor Cuomo is now demanding an investigation into RG&E's preparation and response to the severe windstorms.
But some customers don't necessarily agree.
"I think it's ridiculous," RG&E customer Daniel Catone told 13WHAM News. "I think they've done an extraordinary job under extenuating circumstances. It's a terrible storm and there's not much they can do, they're doing the best they can."
During a press conference on Friday, RG&E addressed questions about their equipment.
"Obviously the damage is a result of the near record winds that we've seen," RG&E representative Walt Matyias said. "As far as newer poles, we don't have any statistics at this time, I can tell you in other events, I've worked many storms and events that with that type of wind. You can see a new pole come down just as much as an older pole."
13 WHAM reached out to RG&E Saturday for a response. It sent the following statement:
We are focused on restoring service safely and efficiently. Our customers depend on us for safety, comfort, and convenience in their homes and businesses, and it is our highest priority to meet their needs safely and efficiently. Thousands of men and women from our company and throughout the Northeast are working around the clock, and they will keep working until we have restored service to all of our customers. We welcome any additional assistance Governor Cuomo is able to secure for this effort. The company will respond to the Public Service Commission’s concerns when we receive a formal notice of any inquiries.