Report From RIOC President Charlene Indelicato - Responds To Con Ed Power Outage On Roosevelt Island During Second Week As RIOC President
Charlene Indelicato made her first report to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board Of Directors yesterday.
Image of RIOC President Charlene Indelicato From RIOC
Ms. Indelicato described RIOC's response to the Con Ed power outage last week, the need for better RIOC emergency communications with the public, sewage generator issues as well as meeting with various community groups. Here's what she had to say
Also, Ms. Indelicato sends her first written report to the Roosevelt Island community.
May 24 marked the end of my second week as President of RIOC and the beginning of the Memorial Day weekend. It was also the day that half of Roosevelt Island lost power. It seems that a fire on the 59th Street Bridge (the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge) knocked out Con Edison feeders to Roosevelt Island, leaving a tenuous thread of electricity to the Island.Welcome aboard the good ship Roosevelt Island, Ms. Indelicato.
I know from experience that how organizations, residents and response teams react to emergencies is the true test of a community’s strength. What I observed during the power outage leads me to believe that Roosevelt Island is a very strong community.
Walking down Main Street with RIOC’s Director of Community Relations Erica Spencer-EL, I saw Board Member Faye Christian leading children from the elementary school to the Good Shepherd Community Center for temporary shelter. RIOC employees Fernando Vargas and Santo Verta were already at work determining the needs of the residents, and setting up temporary headquarters at the engineering office. Public Safety Department officers, led by Director Keith Guerra, were making sure that elderly and disabled residents were accounted for and their needs met.
Meanwhile, RIOC employees were working seamlessly with Delores Green, Jim Bates, and numerous City agencies – the Office of Emergency Management, the Department of Environmental Protection, FDNY and NYPD. Doryne Isley of Island House, Council member Jessica Lappin, RIRA officers and all of the Board members were onsite or were calling in, offering to do anything they could to help.
With RIOC’s servers down, Dick Lutz and Rick O'Connor served as our voice in the community, posting our public service announcements, sharing information as soon as it was received, and keeping Islanders posted on the latest developments. The Island’s businesses pitched in too, turning off all non-essential power so that the one feeder available to the Island didn't malfunction. Last but not least, Island residents took everything in stride and worked with PSD to insure the safety of all.
I was very impressed by the dedication of the RIOC employees and the resiliency of Roosevelt Islanders. I applaud all who took part in the emergency response. The experience confirmed how I already felt: honored to be the new President of RIOC and excited to serve this great community.
Over the past eight months leading up to my appointment, Donald Lewis did a terrific job as Acting President, leading RIOC through a transitional period while continuing to serve in his role as General Counsel. He deserves recognition for his work and I am grateful that he will continue to be a part of our leadership team. I am confident that together with my staff, the Board, community groups, residents and businesses, we can tackle the challenges ahead of us, promoting growth while maintaining the small-town feel, natural beauty, and diversity that make our Island so special.
I look forward to a bright future on Roosevelt Island and to getting to know you all.