Saturday, December 01, 2012

Bloomberg defends ConEd against Hurricane Sandy criticisms

Critics said the utility should have had better protections against storm damage, but the mayor said he didn’t want to second guess the utility.

Plenty of New Yorkers are grumbling about ConEd in the wake of rampant power outages that lasted long after Hurricane Sandy, but Mayor Bloomberg isn’t one of them.

He said Friday it’s best utility in America.

"I keep saying this and everybody wants to shoot me for it,” Hizzoner said Friday on his weekly radio show, “but they have done a very good job. And they did not have a lot of damage.”

ConEd was slammed by the storm that overwhelmed its key equipment including a crucial substation on the East River in Manhattan. Critics said the utility should have had better protections but Bloomberg said it’s hard to judge.

“They built a wall around their high-voltage thing — 12 feet. It never comes even remotely close to that. They had 14 feet of water,” he said. “It's easy to second guess. If they'd built it 15 feet and we had 16 feet ...”

The mayor has been a staunch champion of the utility for years, infuriating Queens residents when he rushed to ConEd’s defense during the 2006 Queens blackout.

“If you look at the national statistics, this happens to be virtually the best utility company in the country,” Bloomberg said Friday. “Are they perfect? No. And it's a lot of should have, would have and could have and second guessing but they have done a very good job.”

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