Pockets of Ramsey Residents Still Dealing With No Power, Downed Lines
During a nor’easter that started nine days after Hurricane Sandy, residents say they feel ignored and unsafe
Over a week after Hurricane Sandy knocked out power to over 95% of Ramsey, the borough’s Office of Emergency Management says “small pockets” of residents are still without power. According to Orange & Rockland, Wednesday night, 407 residents in Ramsey remained were still without power.
Residents continuing to live without power, and with downed trees and power lines throughout their neighborhoods, say they feel ignored.
“We live on a small street, with maybe only 12 houses, but we have six downed trees and literally nearly every wire on the street down,” Judi Kennedy, an Arlena Terrace resident, said. “A few of my neighbors had to leave, but many of us are here. [My house has] a generator, but not every family does.”
A public safety officer from O&R has been stationed by the street's downed wires, residents said.
Kennedy and some of her neighbors say they have been dissatisfied with a “lack of communication and lack of information,” they are receiving about the potential restoration from O&R.
“Everyone who calls [O&R] gets a different answer,” Kennedy said. “I understand that there are many people out there who are much worse off than us. But, I don’t understand why we’ve been deemed so unimportant.”
According to O&R representative Mike Donovan, two “destroyed” transformers, seven poles that need to be straightened, and 700 feet of wire that needs to be replaced are all contributing to the outage at Arlena Terrace.
“It’s a big job, and that’s not a big customer outage,” Donovan said of why this street in the Ramsey Country Club neighborhood has not yet been restored. “Our priorities are [determined by] how quickly we can fix the problem, and how many customers are affected,” Donovan said.
But, Donovan said Wednesday night’s storm should not add to the wait time.
While the utility said it prepared for winter storm Athena Wednesday night, it was still focusing on restoring outages remaining from Hurricane Sandy.
“The vast majority of our crews are remaining dedicated to restoring Hurricane Sandy outages,” Donovan said. Customers out since the storm, “have been out a long time, so they are our priority,” he said. A small portion of the thousands of local and contracted crews working on Sandy repairs were redirected to be emergency crews for the nor’easter. The rest remained on Sandy detail, he said.
During the Nor’easter, an additional block of 1,400 Ramsey residents lost power. However, O&R said crews were on scene almost immediately to restore the outage.