NEW YORK (Reuters) - Storm damage from Superstorm Sandy to the electricity distribution system in the Northeast exposed deep flaws in the structure and regulation of power utilities that will require a complete redesign, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Thursday.
"We're going to have to look at a ground up redesign," Cuomo said while criticizing utilities he said were virtual monopolies run by nameless and faceless bureaucrats.
"The utility system we have was designed for a different time and for a different place," Cuomo told a news conference. "It is a 1950s system. ... They have failed the consumers. The management has failed the consumers."
Superstorm Sandy, which hit the U.S. East Coast 10 days ago on October 29, had knocked out power to almost 2.1 million New York customers, while the wind and snow from the nor'easter on Wednesday left more than 150,000 New Yorkers without service and in the cold.
Currently, there are more than 285,000 homes and businesses in New York without power.
The power companies in New York are units of Consolidated Edison Inc, the state-owned Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), the state-owned New York Power Authority (NYPA), National Grid PLC, CH Energy Group Inc and Iberdrola SA.
(Reporting by Daniel Trotta, Scott DiSavino and Eileen Houlihan in New York; Editing by Diane Craft and Phil Berlowitz)
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