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Gonsalves: LIPA Has Ineffectively Managed Power Restoration Efforts

One day after telling community she will do all she can to restore power, legislator openly blasts LIPA.

The following was submitted by Acting Presiding Officer Norma L. Gonsalves, Legislator, District 13.

In the wake of the devastation left by Hurricane Sandy, residents throughout Nassau County continue to struggle without lights, heat and power to run their households. Traffic lights remain dark, gas supplies limited, and many of our businesses cannot serve their customers.

LIPA is a state agency. It is governed by a 15 member Board of Directors and is not under the jurisdiction of the County or any Town or Village. My office has diligently reported outages and demanded updates, but LIPA’s response even to Nassau County’s elected officials has been awful.

I, like you, believe the Long Island Power Authority (“LIPA”) has ineffectively managed power restoration efforts to our residents and businesses. I have also found the response to our state and federal officials to be similarly ineffective.

And like you, though I have been in constant contact with LIPA officials in my capacity as your Legislator, I am not assured that all that can be done is being done to get the power back on for those that remain in the dark. My office has been informed that LIPA has secured additional manpower and resources from out of state to assist in their recovery and restoration efforts.

Though these resources come nearly 12 days after this tragic storm, they are welcome.

Rest assured, once this immediate emergency is passed, this Legislature will seek answers from LIPA and our state and federal officials as to why the response to Hurricane Sandy was so poorly executed. We will also demand answers as to what is being done to prepare for future emergencies.

My office will do whatever it can to help you. However, I urge all of you to contact Governor Cuomo's office at (212) 681-4580 and demand that he hold LIPA accountable and use every tool at his disposal as Governor of New York to get people the help they need.

Kathleen November 09, 2012 at 10:30 PM
Too little Too late. God Bye Norma. But glad to see you finally woke up to the disaster around you. Did I mention today is Day 12 without power.
Betty November 10, 2012 at 03:28 AM
Shame on LIPA. I had no power for nine days! Three years ago I talked my daughter and niece into buying homes in East Meadow and Levittown. My daughter finally got back power yesterday (11/8/12) and my niece, in East Meadow, is still waiting. To make matters worse, there is a tree leaning on her home and the town has done nothing! As a resident of 31 years, I am outraged! Betty
Joanna G November 10, 2012 at 01:43 PM
Why is this a state agency? Why did they run out of poles? Why were many of the poles rotten and obviously not maintained? Why wasn't all the money allotted to maintenance USED??? I've lived mostly in East Meadow since my parents moved out here in 1949. There have been bad storms before but NEVER has the response been so poor. Whoever are those responsible for this authority should be fired! It is embarrassing to hear workers from other parts of the country talk about the antiquity and poor maintenance of our system. If it takes more money to upgrade the physical system and the computer systems, then get these people out, raise the rates and be done with it! Secondly, if we keep reelecting these same old public officials in Nassau and Suffolk (mostly old Republicans) we will keep getting the same non service over and over in every area. Thirdly, people should be responsible for keeping trees on their property away from power lines. Fine them if they don't.
AB November 10, 2012 at 01:43 PM
How have ppl in south Merrick who needed "inspections" with red tags on their houses have power back before my house in east meadow with ZERO WATER DAMAGE
SG November 10, 2012 at 03:29 PM
I have zero damage to my home thankfully but my block in East Meadow has been without power for 14 days now. Every day i report the outage and All I get from LIPA is a recording that they'll get back to me between 7am and 11pm with details of when ill be up. I have yet to receive a single call or text. Will LIPA reimburse me for the added expenses of lost food, eating out, and other expenses I have undertaken due to their inability to get my power on. SG
ArtyMarty November 10, 2012 at 04:31 PM
She voted to split East Meadow in two for the new Legislature Districts. She only cares about herself. Try and contact her and you only get a flunky who tells you to contact someone else.
S. Grenz November 10, 2012 at 04:36 PM
there is always an excuse from our so called elected officials until they need our votes. Lipa and National Grid have no incentive to improve of fix things in a timely manner when they know the PSC will approve any rate increase without demonstrated performance. When the elected officials leave office they know that these corporations have the thank you envelope waiting. we have no electricity since day one in East Meadow, no trucks in sight,etc. SOMEONE HELP US
ArtyMarty November 10, 2012 at 04:36 PM
It is a state agency because no one wanted LILCO. Why we were forced to pay for the Shoreham mistake? The stockholder of LILCO should have paid for this mistake.
June Denny November 10, 2012 at 06:57 PM
Thank you Norma, for voicing the way I feel about LIPA right now. I live in Uniondale, not in your area, and have been without power for 12 nights and counting. I have a 94 year old mother and if it wasn't for the extreme generosity of a friend in East Meadow who has taken us into his home, I don't know what we would have done. (I think the best people must live in East Meadow.) Something has to be done about the way LIPA does things, because this is ridiculous!!! As my friend says, we have had no water damage, in fact we're nowhere near the water, so our power should have been restored LONG before this.
paul November 11, 2012 at 04:24 AM
I too am still without power, but pointing fingers at LIPA is not the answer. LIPA is doing everything humanly possible to restore power. The devastation was vast. LIPA in fact did plan ahead. Once LIPA's work is complete you will see that not only did they do well, but as with any tragic circumstance we always learn from what has happened. Most if not all of the comments against LIPA are more out of frustration rather that of common sense about the issue. I am just making up numbers as an example: If LIPA stated the below: Prior to the storm they have X number of employees ready to perform 12 - 16 hour shifts until power is restored. And they have retained an additional 3000 workers from out of state... On hand we usually have X number of poles and just received an additional 10,000 poles at the ready. We always have on hand X number of feet of wire but ordered and received an additional 500,000 feet on hand.... My list can go on and on..... The politicians are venting just like you all are.........
paul November 11, 2012 at 04:29 AM
To June Denny: It was the high sustained winds in areas that were not devasted by both wind and tides...
Frank P. November 11, 2012 at 11:29 AM
Paul you forgot to mention that LIPA was turning away Non-Union workers from other states because that were not Union workers. I'm all for unions but I think in times of crisis you need to take the help from wherever you can get. Even if it means hiring out of State workers.
ArtyMarty November 11, 2012 at 03:36 PM
It was not LIPA but the union. They wanted to teach non-union workers what it was like to belong to a union. To the union, the union comes first.
Jackie S November 12, 2012 at 01:19 AM
Well Norma here is it Sunday night day 14 and East Meadow is still in the dark I have lived in East Meadow for 29 years. I think you will be losing my vote for next election as first of all I am seriously considering moving from East Meadow as we are very obviously are not a priority to any politician or state owned agency or to LIPA. A politician told me that the head of LIPA said he did not care about East Meadow. That is very obvious. I guess we are their mercy.
Jackie S November 12, 2012 at 01:23 AM
By the way you urge us to call you but when I tried to call the legislature office a few days ago. all i got was that voice mail boxes were full - and no one answered the phone the many times I called. That sounds like when I call LIPA i get an automated machine to talk to!!!!!
ArtyMarty November 12, 2012 at 01:37 AM
That is normal for Norma. She and her office are experts at passing the buck. She thinks only of what she can get out of it.
Frank T November 12, 2012 at 01:56 AM
14 days and still no power in my part of East Meadow.
Ruth Langone November 12, 2012 at 05:38 AM
I am an 84 year old woman with emphysemia and oxygen. LIPA has me on their critical list with a special number to call. Forget it. They would look up my address and always came back with the same answer. You wll be getting power between now and Monday or whatever. Same old answer each time. One person told me they had so much devastation it wasn't expected but if it were a normal hurricane, I would have had power much sooner. A lot of good that does me. I also have a neighbor who lives across the street from me and she put me and my dog up in her home for 14 days. Finally at 5:00 PM Saturday the electricity came back. I have lived in East Meadow for 55 years. I only pray that with what little time I may have left, this doesn't happen again.
Carmine Vingo November 14, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Get out of L.I., out of NY. Away from unions. It's a different world away from NY. It's the only option. Nothing will get better....

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