In a Monday afternoon press conference about New Castle's Hurricane Sandy recovery work, it was announced that all roads are passable again and none are known to be blocked anymore.
Anthony Vaccaro, commissioner for the town's Department of Public Works, said that “none of our roads that we know of right now are blocked.”
Just two days ago, according to a Saturday video update, the number stood at 175, and in a Sunday update, it was announced that just 32 were blocked.
Vaccaro was joined with New Castle Police Lt. Daniel Cannon, who spoke about work with Con Edison.
However, just because all roads are passable, Vaccaro explained, does not mean they are normal in terms of traveling. Also, it was discussed that side cul-de-sacs with small groups of homes may not be cleared yet.
A frequent complaint among residents has been that they have not spotted utility crews, and Cannon explained why people may have their anecdotes.
“You may not see the trucks working on your road but that doesn't mean they're not working to restore power," Cannon said. "Often the problems are with major feeder lines that could be several blocks away and you wouldn't be aware that they're working on restoring your power and you probably won't know it until you see the lights come back on.”
As of Monday, New Castle has seven utility crews working, with one dedicated to making wires safe for town DPW workers to go through roads. Cannon explained that a challenge in dealing with the other six crews, who are working on restoration, is that they are not communicate directly with the town. Con Edison determines what their priorities are, Cannon said, and added that the town may not know who they restored power to until later in the day.
The crews also include out-of-state utility workers, Cannon said.
New Castle residents, some facing more than a week now without power, are still in for a long haul. Cannon said that, based on his conversation with Con Edision's liaison to the town, it is expected that the vast majority of customers will have power restored by “by this weekend.”
The number of customers in New Castle still without power, as of Monday afternoon, stood at 3,625, explained Westchester County Legislator Mike Kaplowitz in an update video posted on the town's website.
Kaplowitz, in his update video, said that the restoration crews include 34 personnel and 21 bucket trucks.
“That's also not enough," he said, and added that elected officials are pushing Con Edison to move faster.
While DPW crews have been working daily, Vaccaro said, their pace is only as fast as that of the Con Edison crew they work with on wire clearance.
“It's been slow going because our crews can only work at the pace that Con Ed crews make our working areas safe, but we will get to your neighborhood.”
On a related note, with election day on Tuesday, Cannon said that two polling places lacked power: town hall in Chappaqua and Millwood Fire Station No. 2 on Route 134. If the town has polling places without power during voting, then FEMA will provide generator support, he explained.