In the aftermath of Tropical Storm Isaias and the incredible damage to the electrical distribution system that left thousands in Warwick without power, it is time to determine what went wrong and why it took so long to restore power. Politicians in the State and County levels can handle the inevitable public service inquiries, but as President of the Orange County Association of Towns, Villages & Cities I have requested a meeting with Senior O&R staff to make sense of what seemed like chaos to us and our residents. There is no question this storm was huge with extensive damage to the system, and Warwick was particularly hard hit; however, with the average citizen having virtually no information from the utility company the situation quickly became orders of magnitudes worse. I will share the results of our meeting.
The majority of the damage was caused by trees being uprooted, which brought down lines, transformers and poles. It really brings home the necessity of a vigorous tree trimming and in many cases tree removal that are in close proximity to the power lines. This is many times a point of contention with homeowners but it clearly is necessary to limit the disruption to our power during what appears to be more intense and frequent storms.
O&R will reimburse customers for food, prescription medicine spoilage, or perishable commercial merchandise, if they lost power for 48 consecutive hours or longer during Tropical Storm Isaias. A claim form is available at https://www.oru.com/en/services-and-outages/claim-form or by calling 1-877-434-4100. Requests for reimbursement must be filed on or before Tues., Sept. 8. Residential customers may receive reimbursements for up to $235 with an itemized list, or up to $540 with an itemized list and proof of loss (with receipts, photos, etc.). Commercial customers are eligible for up to $10,700 for losses of perishable merchandise spoiled due to lack of refrigeration (with receipts, photos, invoices, etc.).
A Public Hearing to amend the Town’s Procurement policy, Chapter 33, will be held on Thurs., Sept. 10 at 7:30 p.m. in the Warwick Town Hall.
The next regular meeting of the Town Board will be held on Thurs., Sept., 10 at 7:30 p.m. in the Warwick Town Hall, located at 132 Kings Hwy. in Warwick.