What's Next for LIPA?

East Northport and Elwood customers still without power as fallout mounts over LIPA's hurricane response.

Days of power outages, followed by gas rationing and general misery united residents and politicians of every stripe in a way that may be unprecedented on Long Island. They joined to form a chorus of anger aimed at the Long Island Power Authority. 

In the nearly three weeks since Hurricane Sandy left an indelible mark on Long Island, LIPA has become the main target for all that’s gone awry.

In fact, a handful of customers are still without power in East Northport and Elwood nearly three weeks after Sandy.

On the same day Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a statewide commission to hold the state's utilities accountable for their performance, LIPA Chief Operating Officer Michael Hervey announced Tuesday he would step down at the end of the year.

, also announced Tuesday that as Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Investigations and Government Operations, he will head a set of hearings to investigate LIPA's response to Hurricane Sandy. 

A coalition seems to be building against the utility.

And just as it happened to predecessor LILCO, the future of LIPA appears to be in doubt. A poor response to Hurricane Gloria in September 1985 led to its eventual sale.

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DPP November 16, 2012 at 04:23 PM
Public utility, Statewide Commission, Committee on Investigations etc etc. And you wonder what the problem is. Most of the out of State workers were non union and more interested in getting the job done as opposed to the LIPA crews who were concerned about coffee breaks at 10:15 and having their lunch on time. F-U-B-A-R is pretty much the way LIPA's internal efforts have been viewed by the out of state crews who bailed us out.
Tom Dewick November 16, 2012 at 04:46 PM
The out of state crews were laughing at our antiquated electrical grid. Our stuff is so old that they didn't recognize some of it and our utility poles are so old that a lot of them are rotten. We should get the LIPA management team out of their offices and tie them to their crappy utility poles with the downed wires and leave them there, naked, a few nights to enjoy the weather.
Sy November 16, 2012 at 04:54 PM
Anyone who owns a business knows that they have to take money from their personal account to stay in business when anything happens whether business gets slow or any mishaps occurs. Lipa collects plenty of money from everyone on Long Island. We even pay for their million dollar bonuses. Lipa owners group and management should be responsible for paying for their mistakes and not the Long Island customers. If this does happen I feel what we went though with Sandy and nor'easter Lipa will never ever want to use their own money ever again and will become prepared for the future. NYS should be with the people of Long Island to insure by checking on Lipa that they do not pull any strings and charge the people for their mistakes. How much lower would our electric and gas bills be if their bonuses were on tenth the amount? Long Islanders are disgusted by how we are ripped off by this monopoly. If Lipa is broken up into 8 different companies competing for our business as well as national grid we the people will be able to pick the company and have the ability to switch with who has the better deal. It is time to get out of the dark ages and do away with monopolies.
Ken Wiebke November 16, 2012 at 04:59 PM
The power lines must be buried and a long range plan to accopmplish that is required but petty politician don't have the vision to go there.
villager November 16, 2012 at 07:12 PM
Nat'l Grid actually runs, maintains, operates, & recommends improvements to the LI power grid for the system owner, LIPA. LIPA's officers just review & approve NatGrid's plans. Interesting that while LIPA's COO just resigned, NatGrid's top electric exec for LI just got promoted (see yesterday's Newsday).
Michael John Sullivan November 16, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Thanks for the info, Jason. Incredible it seems that people are still without power.


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