Elmira/Corning Regional Airport

Touring the Damage

Written By: Joe Melillo

The tour continued in Elmira with the commissioners from the State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, and the Office of Emergency Management.

Touring the Damage
 

July 27, 2012

Elmira (WENY) - The tour continued in Elmira with the commissioners from the State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, and the Office of Emergency Management. They both got a first hand look at the damage. Commissioner Jerome Hauer says the state will be in Elmira as long as it takes to get the city back on its feet, but after seeing power out through the city he also said he wasn't happy with NYSEG.

     “DOT can do a great job clearing trees but they cant touch power lines that are down,” says Hauer.

     The sky is much calmer today over Elmira, but on the ground another storm is brewing. Commissioner Hauer isn't happy with the way NYSEG is handling the disaster in Elmira.

     “Particularly with elderly shut-ins this has a big impact on them and we cant wait for a utility to figure out how to get their act in gear.”

     During a tour of a damage, some street lights were still out. More than 13,000 people are without power in Chemung County, and for the commissioner that's unacceptable.

     “I've got a call into the president of NYSEG and I’m a little disappointed at the response from NYSEG.”

     But no need to wait for a call back, Mark Lynch the president of NYSEG, was at the press conference to answer his concerns.

    “We appreciate the opportunity to serve this community and our people live here. This is our community as well as your community and we will do everything we can to restore power as quick as possible.”

     The city mayor Sue Skidmore says not even a tornado will stop Elmira from coming back stronger than ever.

     “You know here we are we're on an upswing and everything is starting to look good. We have some projects in the worked and I'll be damned if I let this get me down. I'm going to rebuild this city and this is not going to stop me.”

      NYSEG should have more than 80% of the damage assessed by the end of today. The president of NYSEG says power should be restored to 90% of the homes by Sunday Night.