Con Edison reveals communication glitch amid Westchester outages

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Tens of thousands of people are still living without electricity after a pair of nor'easters knocked down trees and power lines across the Tri-State area. And one of the worst hit areas is Westchester County, where more than 15,000 are in the dark.

Many don't believe enough being done to get restore service, and there were renewed calls Friday for the leaders of Con Edison and NYSEG to step down. Westchester County Executive George Latimer is leading the charge, and his case may be amplified by a revelation from ConEd CEO John McAvoy that a glitch in utility's data compilation system resulted in miscommunications with customers.

Kate Whelan and Dante Fedeli lost power last Friday during the nor'easter. Between then and now, they have received three robo-calls from ConEd telling them when the power would return - calls filled with wrong information and false hopes.

McAvoy said the glitch led to robocalls that were made multiple times per customer, frequently changing estimated times of restorations. There were also cases when customers were told they were back in service when they were not.

He said the bottom line is that numbers being reported to the public have been incorrect, and that he believes the problem has been fixed. He stressed the information flow mistakes did not result in any crews being incorrectly dispatched.

"It did not result in crews working unproductively," he said. "It didn't dispatch crews to wrong areas or anything like that. But it did add another level of frustration for our customers. We deeply regret the impact it had for our customers."

The cleanup continued Friday, with Con Edison saying they hope to have all service restored by Friday night.

Utility poles, transformers, wires and tree branches litter Lockwood Avenue in Yonkers, which has been taped off until crews can repair the damage.

Amy Freeze posted more from Yonkers on her Instagram (@AmyFreeze7) and Snapchat accounts, as well as Facebook.

The first nor'easter hit a week ago, and power outages were prevalent in Westchester County before the second storm arrived.

Latimer first called for the resignation of the presidents of Con Edison and NYSEG due to what he called their inadequate response to the first storm.

"We were unhappy as a county and as municipalities in the response of the various utilities to this point," he said. "What progress had been made has been to the greatest extent undone and made worse."

Con Edison says there are 2,000 crews in Westchester County working to restore power. The utility said they even brought back crews that were still in Puerto Rico helping to restore power there since Hurricane Maria hit back in September.

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