YONKERS, N.Y. – One Yonkers family says they can deal with not having power but are fed up with dodging downed electrical wires stretched across parts of Lawrence Park West.
For 10 days, Sandra Caruso and her children have been ducking through bushes and climbing over tree branches to avoid power lines Con Edison has left lying around Hereford Road after Superstorm Sandy swept through the area.
“I can deal with not having power,” Caruso said. “What I cannot accept is leaving poles and wires strewn across my property and street.”
When Sandy hit the neighborhood, it took down several trees and a number of power lines, knocking out electricity that has yet to be restored.
Caruso says with their generator, she knows her family is better off than some. So she has been checking on her neighbors, who have no power or heat but have chosen to stay in their homes.
“One of my neighbors has to light a candle at dinnertime to cook potatoes over the stove,” she said. “I feel bad for people like that.”
Still, every day on the way to school, Caruso and her three small children make their way to the car by climbing through the front yard bushes to avoid downed power lines that may or may not be running with electricity.
“It’s a very dangerous situation,” she said.
The nor’easter that blanketed the city with snow Wednesday made the situation even worse, Caruso said. Now wires lying in yards and on the street are basically invisible, leaving Caruso and her neighbors to dodge what they can’t see.
“Our frustration levels have peaked,” she said. “That storm put people over the edge.”
After "hundreds" of unsuccessful calls to Con Ed, Caruso said she began contacting everyone from City Hall to the governor’s office looking for help getting the wires off the ground. “Everyone but the president,” she said.
But there is only so much local officials can do.
“They are trying to be responsive but it comes back to Con Ed,” she said.
Mayor Mike Spano, who has been critical of the power company’s response to the city, said Thursday that Con Ed has “dropped the ball” in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. He pointed to several instances of downed wires still remaining throughout Yonkers.
“The state, the county and the city were prepared for the storm. Con Ed was not,” he said. “And it’s having a real effect on residents.”
Caruso said she has a simple request for Con Ed.
“I know it will be a while before power is back and I realize there was a lot of devastation,” she said. “But can you please get wires off the streets so no one gets killed?”