Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today declared a state of emergency in New York in order to provide local governments with additional clean-up and operational support in the wake of Tropical Storm Isaias. The counties included in the declaration are: Bronx, Dutchess, Kings, Nassau, New York, Orange, Putnam, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk and Westchester. Additionally, the declaration will also apply to those counties bordering the 11 specifically stated in the declaration, as that is standard practice. As such, Columbia, Ulster and Sullivan will also be covered by the order. By declaring a state of emergency, it allows state agencies to provide direct support to local governments without already having standing agreements in place.
Governor Cuomo also announced that he has directed the New York National Guard to mobilize 50 soldiers with vehicles to assist Putnam County officials with storm response, cleanup missions and ice and water distribution.
This declaration follows the Governor’s announcement of an investigation into the operations of utility companies, before, during and after the storm, as 703,191 New Yorkers remain without power. As this investigation begins, all other state agencies with emergency response capabilities remain fully engaged with local governments across the state to ensure they have all the resources they need to complete clean-up and recovery operations.
“We’re taking an all-hands-on-deck approach and activating every resource at our disposal to expedite communities’ recovery from the impacts of Tropical Storm Isaias,” Governor Cuomo said. “The State is working closely with local governments to helpensure they have the help they need to get back on their feet. We’re far too familiar with severe weather, but New Yorkers show their true spirit in times of crisis and we’ll prove it once more.”
As Tropical Storm Isaias moved quickly on northern track through the eastern portion of the state, it caused numerous downed trees, localized flash flooding and caused a peak of more than 920,000 power outages. While more than 216,000 outages have been restored, more than 703,000 still remain.
Due to the apparent lack of adequate planning by utility companies, the Governor has directed the Department of Public Service to launch an investigation into the responses by Verizon, PSEG Long Island, Con Edison, Central Hudson Gas & Electric, Orange and Rockland Utilities, and New York State Electric & Gas to determine the causes of their failures.
Outside of the investigation, the Department continues to work around the clock with senior executives at the utilities to ensure restoration moves as quickly and safely as possible. Utilities have deployed 7,000 workers to help with damage response and restoration and service.