November 14, 2012 / 2:12 PM / 5 years ago

LIPA restores power to most Sandy outages on Long Island, NY

* LIPA COO Hervey resigns due criticism over slow response
    * NY governor begins probe of state power companies
    * Flood-damaged homes need repairs before power restored
    * Over 8,000 LIPA customers that can receive power still out

    By Scott DiSavino
    NEW YORK, Nov 14 (Reuters) - The Long Island Power Authority
(LIPA) is close to restoring electric service to the last 8,000
Long Island, New York, homes and businesses able to receive
power, the company said on Wednesday, 16 days after Hurricane
Sandy battered the U.S. East Coast.
    However, another 38,000 customers in the flooded areas of
Long Island have yet to be surveyed for damage or may need
repairs and certification by an electrician before the company
can restore service.
    LIPA Chief Operating Officer Mike Hervey resigned late on
Tuesday after harsh criticism from customers and politicians
over the still ongoing restoration of service from the
superstorm two weeks ago and a nor'easter last week.
 
    LIPA, however, is a state-owned shell company that has only
about 100 employees. It has outsourced the operation of its
electric system to a unit of British power company National Grid
PLC, which has said it is responsible for implementing
LIPA's restoration plan.
    National Grid officials were not immediately available for
comment.
    Hervey's resignation came on the same day New York Governor
Andrew Cuomo announced an investigation into the state's
utilities. He said the problems exposed by the storm would
require a major overhaul of the power industry.
    Other hard-hit New York and New Jersey utilities had
restored power to most customers able to take service by last
weekend.
    Of the LIPA customers unable to receive power, 26,600 are on
the Rockaway Peninsula in New York City, less than 10,000 are in
Nassau County, about 1,500 are in Long Beach and 300 are in
Suffolk County.
    Sandy knocked out power to about 8.5 million customers in 21
states after hitting New Jersey on Oct. 29.
    More than 1 million of LIPA's 1.1 million customers lost
power due to Sandy. A nor'easter storm last week knocked out
123,000 more customers - thousands of whom had had power
restored after Sandy.
    Combined, Sandy and the nor'easter knocked out more homes
and businesses on Long Island than LIPA has customers.
    LIPA was not the only power company with damaged homes that
cannot take power. More than 80,000 homes and businesses in New
Jersey and New York, including those on Long Island, will remain
dark, due primarily to flood damage, until owners make repairs.
    In New York City, Consolidated Edison Inc said this
week that it still had about 16,300 customers in flood-ravaged
areas of Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island who could not regain
electric service until they fixed their internal equipment.
    In New Jersey, FirstEnergy Corp's Jersey Central
Power and Light utility has said about 30,000 customers on the
barrier islands and shoreline communities could not have power
restored due to infrastructure damage in that area.

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