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Suffolk Coming Online Faster Than the West

Nassau has largest concentration of power outages in state, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday.

Suffolk County power outages are dropping at a faster rate than Nassau County, which “has the bulk of the [power] problem now,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a Sunday morning news conference.

Just one-third of the initial power outages in the state caused by Hurricane Sandy remain, but the governor said 730,000 customers are still powerless six days later. In Suffolk, outages stand at 133,052, but Nassau is the worst-hit county with 266,000 LIPA customers in the dark.

Chilly weather means the widespread outages, along with a crippling gas shortage, have created a public health crisis for those trying to stay warm.

Westchester (105,000) and Queens (86,000) each also have large populations without power. 

LIPA reports 2,950 linemen and tree trimmers in the field throught Suffolk Sunday, including 383 in the Town of Brookhaven and another 299 in the Town of Huntington.

Looking at LIPA's outage map, it appeared that many crews were working in the Rocky Point and Sound Beach area.

LIPA, in it most recent update, held to its projection to have 90 percent of customers restored by Wednesday night. Locals in hard hit areas in St. James, Port Jefferson and Brookville may have to wait another week after that to see thier lights turned back on.

While recognizing the severity of the storm, Cuomo issued his daily warning to state utilities to do more.

“I will hold them accountable for their performance here 100 percent,” said Cuomo, who also announced the deployment of an additional 850 National Guard troops from four states.

FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, sitting next to Cuomo, said 86,000 households statewide have registered for federal assistance and that $97 million has already been deposited in accounts.

“All disasters go through cycles. At some point people will think we’re back to normal,” said Fugate, who vowed that FEMA would remain in the state for the duration. “This will not be done in a month. This will not be done in a year.” 

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, called coordination much better now compared to Tropical Storm Irene a year ago. He said FEMA has $7.2 billion to disburse with more funding coming.

But Schumer prodded FEMA on one lingering issue from Irene. “LIPA, which needs to do a whole lot more, is still owed $55 million from Hurricane Irene,” Schumer pointed out.

Schumer, who toured Lindenhurst Saturday, recounted a meeting with one local whose home along the Great South Bay was devastated. When asked if he would rebuild, the man told Schumer: "Look at the view. I have 364 good days and one rotten one. Of course I’m rebuilding." 

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Shragi Schupak November 05, 2012 at 03:52 PM
I agree with you. Bury all the utility lines its been proven that they are less vulnerable to damage and outages then conventional overhead lines. I notice that when roadways are widened and improved the power lines are pushed back. Instead of pushing them back thats when they should start putting them underground. It would be a good start,
AF November 05, 2012 at 04:46 PM
Undergrounding is not as good as everyone thinks it is. I have friends out of state in Georgia and when the power goes out they have to dig up all the wires to check it. First they have to get a dig up order before it can be done and then they have to dig up the wires to check and find out what is wrong before they can fix it. Imagine having that here we would not get power back for more then a month if this had to be done in the event of a hurricane we had. At least Lipa has easy access to the wires above ground to see what is wrong and fix them. I live in Holbrook and we had an out of state truck fix our electric from North Carolina. It was a wite truck with their name on it in small print. You may not see Lipa trucks because there are other companies working here.
pbug56 November 05, 2012 at 06:02 PM
We finally got LIPA contracted tree trimmers late yesterday, but they lost a lot of time when LIPA neglected to send someone to turn power off on certain lines. Tree cutting resumed this morning and I think pole crews are starting to show up - many poles here in East Northport were destroyed (even if the lines attached to them stayed connected in some cases).
Dan Elton November 05, 2012 at 07:39 PM
also, if Shoreham had been allowed to go online, our electricity bills would be a hell of a lot cheaper and maybe people wouldn't mind paying the high costs associated with burying lines underground... thus avoiding these power outages altogether.
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