Thousands of Ulster County residents lost power (some for the second time this month) after a severe thunderstorm downed power lines. The outage frustrated locals just ten days after a rare tornado tore through the county, causing widespread damage and outages.
One frustrated customer was Kingston Mayor Steve Noble. He posted on Facebook Monday morning to call out Central Hudson for failing to keep residents updated on restoration times.
“Yet again, we awake this morning with the largest number of outages within Ulster County and still no word on restoration times. While we only had a few trees/wires down last night, we still ended up with over 2100 customers out,” he wrote.
“This storm is continuing to show the weakness of Central Hudson’s power system and that it is not ready for our future weather patterns,” Noble wrote. “I’ll be reaching out to the Public Service Commission again to share my concerns. We should at least be getting estimated restoration times 10+ hours after a storm!”
Local residents echoed Noble’s frustration. Jacquelyn Renée replied to the mayor: “I’m out of power since 8pm last night near Forsyth Park, and only this morning was an estimated restoration time of 3pm today posted. I have zero faith in this time as last storm the estimated restoration time changed drastically at least 4 times.”
Local politicians have recently scrutinized and criticized Central Hudson for its billing practices. Just a few months ago, Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan said, “The failed implementation of Central Hudson’s new billing system compounded by unexpected and unprecedented bill surges has resulted in extensive damage to the confidence of our community.”
Central Hudson called the damage caused by last evening’s storm “significant” and said in a statement, “Restoration estimates will be assigned as soon as crews in the field and our outage management staff are able to determine accurate estimates.”
Residents can report a power outage to Central Hudson here.