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Mangano, Cuomo Criticize LIPA's Response to Superstorm Sandy

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday had a few harsh words for the power authorities.

During a press conference at Cedar Creek Park in Seaford, Mangano said his office has requested from LIPA a bullet-point memo on procedures for getting power turned on in flood areas that they can distribute to residents, but so far the utility has not responded.

Mangano said many residents who live in designated flood zones south of Merrick Road have expressed frustration because of LIPA not making clear the proper process for having electrical systems inspected before power is restored. He also said the utility company has failed to adequately respond to customers in flood areas whose homes did not incur flood damage.

“[LIPA] has to be the ones leading the charge to get the lights on,” said a frustrated Mangano during the press conference held next to an American Red Cross feeding site established at Cedar Creek Park last week.

Cuomo, in a press briefing, called the Long Island Power Authority and other New York power utilities in general "archaic" and "unprepared" for the lashing Hurricane Sandy and winter storm Athena gave the Long Island and New York metropolitan area.

"This is a 1950s system with these utilities that are regulated by the the state, but they are bureaucracies that are in many ways a monopoly," Cuomo said, adding that "it's a system that just doesn't work for New York in an emergency crisis situation."

Power power outages jumped above 220,000 following Wednesday's nor'easter.

Joe Vicali, who lives in a northern section of Seaford in the Levittown School District showed up at Thursday’s press conference and voiced his anger at not having power for 11 days and LIPA’s lack of response to any of his questions.

“They are not picking up their phones," Vicali said. “LIPA has to be held responsible for this."
Mangano said the Merrick Fire Department and some other firefighters in Nassau County have stepped up to the plate to help with the inspection process to help get homes powered up that were not impacted by flooding south of Merrick Road.

He also added that the county’s three town supervisors in Hempstead, North Hempstead and Oyster Bay have been authorized by the county to go directly into LIPA sub stations with outage maps to inform electric crews on what non-flooded homes can have power turned on.

The LIPA press office did not immediately respond to a call seeking comment on Mangano’s criticism levied against the utility.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo also lashed out at LIPA in a press conference Thursday saying they were "unprepared" for Superstorm Sandy as well as the nor'easter that struck the area Wednesday.

Story by Andrew Coen and Henry Powderly

Maert Skard November 09, 2012 at 12:37 AM
It's the pot calling the kettle black. Cuomo is essentially complaining about the "system" that he and his legislature control directly. The State of New York controls the power grid in New York City and Long Island exclusively. Have any of you heard of the Power Authority of the State of New York, the Long Island Power Authority or Consolidated Edison. They are all either legal entities controlled directly by the State of New York or regulated to such a degree that the state "owns" them not unlike a mobster. Cuomo is not worried at all. He will be running for President in 2016. The voters who put him in charge of the State of New York's power monopoly when they elected him to be Governor essentially elected the reason that they are freezing their rumps off in the dark at this moment. Obtuse. One cannot replace a fuse without an EPA, DES environmental impact assessment, approval from the Governor and the NY State Legislature. Oops, I forgot the required vote by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Remember, when you do get your power back, odds are it was a non union crew that made it happen.
Concerned American November 09, 2012 at 08:54 AM
The governor makes the appointments of his political cronies to LIPA. LIPA is not a private company, it is a NYS public power authority run under the authority of the governor. It is loaded with political hacks who do nothing except make money off the taxpayers backs. Cuomo said he knows how poorly LIPA reacts to storms, but made no use of his capacity as governor to do anything about it but whine.
Paul November 09, 2012 at 08:58 AM
Is it only me that finds the responses to the storm and subsequent follow-up by Kate Murray and her crew at the Town of Hempstead to be deafening ? Since the storm, Kate and Gary, who are no strangers to the art of the "Photo Op" haven't been seen or heard from. No outrage from our Town Supervisor to the horrendous job that LIPA is performing ? I am finding it difficult to understand this, unless of course, Kate and Gary are unable to leave their homes due to fallen trees, lack of gas, no electric, no heat or many of the other problems facing her constituents. But, I hold hope, that in a week or so, we will be inundated with political propaganda showing us Kate and Gary's photo on every page.

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