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NYC Council Discusses Efforts to Improve Storm Response

by Katie Fisher
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Flickr/ ekonon

New York City Council wants to make sure residents are not left in the dark after major storms.

The city council's Committee on Consumer Affairs met Friday afternoon to assess emergency planning and management during and after Superstorm Sandy. 

Council members discussed power utilities' restoration efforts after Superstorm Sandy.  Councilman Mark Weprin called on companies, including ConEdison, to come up with a better system to keep customers updated.

"What can you do to improve the system for the future, to try to get that tech aspect of it?" said Weprin.  "Where you communicate directly with customers, through email, through voicemail or through their elected officials just to give us an idea of where you are."

ConEd's John Miksad testified at the hearing.  He said the company will be improving their damage assessment system to keep customers updated about restoration efforts.  

In addition, the Committee is looking into installing more underground power lines to prevent outages during future storms. They introduced a bill that would require the Mayor's office to research specific neighborhoods that should have power lines below ground. 

"There will be outages when there is a storm, when the wind blows, but we could minimizing those outages and that will allow faster restoration for those customers that are affected, said Miksad

He said this could be a costly undertaking, but could benefit vulnerable areas.

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