State Sen. Tony Avella, D-Bayside, and City Councilman Mark Weprin, D-Oakland Gardens, are calling for investigations into public utilities’ response to Hurricane Sandy in northeast Queens.
Avella has written a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo in which he called for Con Edison and LIPA to be “held accountable” for their performance in restoring power to residents affected by last week’s storm. The senator wrote that, as of Thursday, a number of residents across the five boroughs are still without power and heat.
“While I am very aware of the daunting task facing these public utilities in the wake of this devastating storm, it remains completely unacceptable that there continue to be so many people still suffering with no power and no heat in temperatures that have dropped to 32 degrees or lower in the past several days,” Avella wrote.
The senator said the response from the public utilities has been “organized” and “slower than necessary.”
In a press release, Con Edison said it has so far restored power to 900,000 customers.
At a Community Board 11 meeting earlier this week, Councilman Dan Halloran, R-Whitestone, said that an estimated 7,500 homes and businesses were still without power.
Weprin has called on the City Council to conduct hearings on the city’s response following Hurricane Sandy. He said seniors had been without electricity and heat, large trees had fallen into homes in his district and gas station lines had been hours long.
“Our community was very patient, but we were kept in the dark too long and we want answers,” Weprin said. “In order to deal with situations like Sandy, there is a need to assess what went right, what went wrong and whom should be held accountable.”