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McKinstry: Westchester Legislators meet despite Hurricane Sandy

The Westchester Board of Legislators meets despite Hurricane

The Westchester Board of Legislators meets despite Hurricane Sandy. Credit: Matt Richter

With Hurricane Sandy upon us, Westchester residents can take comfort in knowing the Board of Legislators is hard at work.

The board held a meeting this morning and passed a law requiring the county to have an inventory of its portable generators as well as those owned by municipalities throughout Westchester.

The vote was unanimous, but you’ve got to wonder how many lawmakers asked this question: What are we doing here today?

“With more and more catastrophic weather events taking place, it’s important that we know where all the usable and available generators are around Westchester in order to effectively respond to power outages at Office of Emergency Management centers and other critical facilities,” Majority Leader Pete Harckham (D-Katonah), said in a statement today. “This will give public safety officials and first responders an idea of where gaps exist in terms of being able to utilize generators when we need them most.”

The legislation, which was conceived after an October snowstorm last year that left many communities without power for days, requires the commissioner of the Westchester County Department of Emergency Services to conduct an inventory of County-owned mobile and portable generators. The legislation also calls for a survey of all of Westchester’s municipalities along the same lines to assess the emergency power needs of their critical municipal facilities.

The intent is all well and good, but since it still has to be signed by County Executive Rob Astorino – who is manning the county’s emergency operations center and who has a notoriously testy relationship with the board – we can only hope it’ll be ready for the next 100-year storm.