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LIPA: Extra Crews Arrive as 850K Wait for Power

Editor’s Note: This article was written and submitted by Micah Danney.

Crews began arriving this afternoon to help the Long Island Power Authority restore service to 850,000 customers still without it, LIPA said Wednesday.

The company's restoration estimate of seven to 10 days has not changed, chief operating officer Michael Hervey said, though the speed of the restoration will depend - in part - on the number of personnel LIPA can deploy.

"This will be the biggest storm in all of our history," said Hervey, standing in front of a cracked transmission line utility pole at the Long Island Rail Road Station in Glen Cove.

Hervey said certain locations take priority, including the 18 hospitals on Long Island that lost power, as well as water and sewer facilities and emergency management centers.
The storm affected multiple levels of LIPA's infrastructure, Hervey said. The challenge is to restore major transmission lines like the one at the Glen Cove train station before substations and local lines can be fixed. He said jobs like the nearby utility pole take a crew a day to fix.

"It's a little bit out of sight," Hervey said of the transmission and substation work, explaining that LIPA crews will not be seen on residential streets until substations are brought back on-line.

An influx of personnel is expected to help in reducing the amount of time that the recovery would take, he said. LIPA's current force of roughly 1,700 will be doubled in the next few days as nearly 2,000 additional workers are brought in from out of town.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office issued a press release stating that more than 1,200 of them are being redeployed from National Grid's upstate operations. More than 300 transmission linemen and equipment operators from public power companies have been assembled by the New York Power Authority (NYPA), according to the governor's office.

The crews are part of a new Public Power Assistance Team being coordinated by Cuomo.

“Hurricane Sandy hit Long Island and the New York metro area particularly hard, and we must direct our resources to where they are needed the most and can help the most people,” Cuomo said in a statement. “The Public Power Assistance Team will bring line crews from upstate and other parts of the country to downstate communities still in the dark, so we can restore power to affected homes and businesses as soon as possible. I want to extend my thanks to all of the crews who are putting themselves in harm's way to restore power as quickly as possible.”

Supporting crews will be arriving from Iowa, Texas, North Carolina, Alabama, Wisconsin, California, Tennessee, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Florida and Indiana.

Hervey said crews are working exhaustively to get power back on.

"Men and women working 16-hour shifts will continue to work 16-hour shifts until every last customer has power," he said.
Susan Britt November 02, 2012 at 08:05 PM
My heart goes out to those who need power for life support. I will offer up this suggestion: If you cannot get a neighbor's help, might I suggest the Mayors number. He is a man who gets things done in my view. Call him and I will bet he will find a way to help. As for the turkeys who are criticizing you, ignore them. They are fools and have no idea what you are going through. Treat them as if they have a disease which they cannot help. I wish you the best of luck in this terrible time.
Archie Bunker November 02, 2012 at 08:07 PM
Well there is a risk when you buy a house on the shore.
TW November 04, 2012 at 12:12 AM
@Susan Britt: You suggest calling the Mayor's office? Well, if you're Patricia Ann McDonald, the mayor of Malverne, you're out of luck. She's conveniently "vacationing" in Europe right now, leaving acting mayor Joseph Hennessey (a raging alcoholic) in charge. If power is not back on soon, I am staging a Power to the People protest on Jean Ct. in Malverne. This is REALLY shaping up to be a Malverne Massacre. I'm VERY serious.
Michael Bredemeyer November 05, 2012 at 01:53 AM
catherine.. you have to call lipa every year and make sure she is on the list.. as it goes with most things double checking yearly should be #1 priority.. and 2ndly... knowing the storm was coming, knowing that power would go out for long amount of time, and knowing your daughter is sick...... you should of been a dammed smarter and more responsible parent/parents and gotten her the heck out of harms way..... instead of staying at home.. you should of gone somewhere else, out of state to family, or make arrangements with hospital, etc.... blaming 1 thing when you have many different options is your own fault.. i bet LIPA has a huge list of emergency care people etc... hospitals, nursing homes, fire departments, police stations are far more important then 1 individual in this massively devastating storm... compared to say a normal storm that might knock out power... just saying you have no emergency plan in place therefore your not screwed.... if you were smart(which you arent), your generator would be powered by street gas....
mark fuhrer November 14, 2012 at 03:08 AM
LIPA is a disgrace. Check out this song I wrote about LIPA here... Spread this around if you like it, Thanks. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bl2ONUsok0c

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