Thousands in WNY frustrated, still without power

Posted at 11:38 PM, Mar 11, 2017

From downed telephone poles, to trees ripped off the ground. All of those sights, serving as memory of the wind storm that left thousands of Western New Yorkers without power.

"Freezing! We had to take all the food out of the refrigerator and freezer," said Michael Mecca, who has no power.

52 years living in his Orchard Park home, and a lifetime in Western New York, but Mecca says he's never witnessed strong winds like the ones Wednesday.

"This is the first time, and I hope the last," said Mecca. "It sounded like a tornado!"

Leaving him without power for days and with a big surprise in his backyard. A massive tree falling down, and knocking down the power lines. The fallen elm tree and no electricity had Mecca scrambling for a temporary solution.

"We rented a generator but it's really not enough to keep the house warm," said Mecca. 

So he's been staying at his son's house in Hamburg, waiting for answers from NYSEG.

"I told them 'is that the soonest you can make it? He said they've got problems all over'. Of course it's frustrating!" said Mecca.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz is now pushing for answers.

"We're going on the fifth day now of people without power, including in areas where it's been very cold and I think that's unacceptable with a storm that was expected," said Poloncarz.

He's asking Governor Andrew Cuomo to launch an investigation into what he says has been a slow response time compared to National Grid.

"As of this afternoon there were a little less than 5,000 customers who were without power from NYSEG, while National Grid had almost every one of its customers back in place even though National Grid has more customers," said Poloncarz.

NYSEG says they have over 100 line crews working around the clock and will continue to do so until power is restored. They add that it's their highest priority to meet the customers' needs safely and efficiently, and that they welcome any additional assistance Governor Cuomo is able to provide. 

As for Mecca's electricity? NYSEG says all of its customers should have power back by noon Sunday.