Tag Archives: lipa

LIPA COO resigns amid lawsuit, calls for investigation

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

It’s lights out for the chief operating officer of Long Island Power Authority (LIPA).

Tuesday night the utility announced that its COO Mike Hervey had resigned and will step down at the end of the year.

“Mike has provided 12 years of valuable service to LIPA, including taking on the responsibility to perform the functions of CEO of the organization over the past two years. Mike has played a leadership role in connection with the planned structural changes at LIPA going forward which will result in better service and accountability to LIPA’s customers in the years ahead.” said LIPA’s chairman, Howard E. Steinberg.

Earlier in the day, a lawsuit against the company was filed claiming breach of contract, gross negligence and fraud for the utility’s response to Sandy-related outages.

Also on Tuesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order forming a commission to investigate and study the New York state’s power companies and their preparedness, reaction and management of storms over the past two years.

As a result of Sandy, over a million of LIPA’s Long Island and Queens customers lost power. Though it has restored electricity for 99 percent of those “who can safely except power,” as of Wednesday morning, around 40,000 are more still are in the dark, over half of which are in the Rockaway Peninsula.


Addabbo Health Center has room for patients

| mhayes@queenscourier.com

The Rockaways’ Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center is up and running despite complications left behind by Superstorm Sandy, but is doing so on intermittent power.

The center’s two sites, one on Beach Channel Drive and another on Central Avenue, have been running on generator power and have not been able to connect to any electrical grid. The Beach Channel Drive site, powered by the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), emerged from the storm with a fried electrical panel that LIPA has not yet assessed.

“[The panel] was underwater,” said the health center’s CEO, Dr. Peter Nelson. “We’ve tried to reach [LIPA] but without success.”

The facility has also been experiencing difficulty with keeping the generators running; they continue to break down and run out of gas, according to Nelson. Most days they have at one point lost power, but it is always restored within a few hours.

Nelson says the power outages “absolutely do not” affect patient’s safety.

Since Sandy, the Addabbo Health Center has seen a 75 percent drop in patient presence, and Nelson believes it is because Rockaway residents are preoccupied with restoring the lives they once knew.

“The most basic needs of human beings are safety and security. If your security is not taken care of, they push through [any sickness],” he said. “We have the capacity, even with the intermittent power, to take care of a whole lot more people than are coming to us.”

Nelson and his staff continue to wait for LIPA so they can resume business as usual.

“We are very much open,” he said. “We just need LIPA to come.”

Cuomo launches commission to investigate utility companies’ storm response

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

After publicly criticizing New York utility companies following Superstorm Sandy, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order today, which forms a commission to investigate and study the state’s power companies and their preparedness, reaction and management of storms over the past two years.

“From Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee, to Hurricane Sandy, over the past two years New York has experienced some of the worst natural disasters in our state’s history,” said Cuomo. “As we adjust to the reality of more frequent major weather incidents, we must study and learn from these past experiences to prepare for the future.”

Under the Moreland Act, the commission can subpoena and examine witnesses under oath. In addition to reviewing how the utilities dealt with significant storms, it will also “make specific recommendations to reform and modernize oversight, regulation and management of New York’s power delivery services.”

One of the utilities the commission will be investigating includes the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA). Today, a class action lawsuit was filed against the power company for its response to Sandy outages.



Lawsuit against LIPA to be filed Tuesday

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

A class action lawsuit against the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) and National Grid, which manages LIPA’s grid, is expected to be filed Tuesday, claiming breach of contract, gross negligence and fraud for the utility’s response to Sandy-related outages, according to multiple reports.

Two Nassau county customers have already joined the lawsuit, reported CBS New York.

“We’re bringing a class action because I believe somewhere between 750,000 and 1 million people have been one way or another damaged by the ineptitude of this organization,” attorney Ken Mollins told CBS.

Critics say LIPA, which serve customers in Long Island as well as Queens, has responded slowly to the thousands that lost power due to Superstorm Sandy.

As of Tuesday, 14,000 LIPA customers outside of flood areas and 39,000 within, including 26,600 in the Rockaway Peninsula, are still without power.

Customers are not the only ones mad at local utility companies.

On Monday, Governor Cuomo said he wanted to launch an investigation of them, and that he believes they were “unprepared “ and “non-communicative” in their response to the storm.

In a speech this morning to the Association for a Better New York, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said that “we need to strengthen our energy structure.”

Along with improving protocol, erecting structures around power plants and substations, and upgrading infrastructure, Quinn suggested that in neighborhoods prone to heavy winds, overhead power lines should be buried underground.

Con Ed restores power to those without damaged equipment; thousands in Howard Beach, Broad Channel remain without lights

| brennison@queenscourier.com

File photo

Two weeks after Sandy knocked out electricity to more than 100,000 Queens residents, Con Edison announced power was restored to all customers whose equipment was not damaged during the storm.

Several thousand residents in Howard Beach and Broad Channel will remain without power until their equipment is deemed safe, Con Ed said.

The last Sandy outages throughout the rest of the borough were finally restored last night, Con Ed said in a release.

“We want to restore customers as much as they want the electricity back, but we will not restore customers unless it is safe to do so,” said a Con Ed spokesperson.

There are several steps residents in those areas must follow before their lights can be turned back on, Con Ed said.

Residents’ equipment must be inspected, cleaned and repaired by a licensed contractor; the contractor must then complete a self-certification form and email (hurricanesandybrooklynqueens@coned.com) or fax (718-802-6349) the form to Con Ed.

Tens of thousands of Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) customers in the Rockaways also remain without electricity.

Pols pressure LIPA to restore power to Rockaways

| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder

Nearly two weeks after Sandy struck the Rockaways and devastated southern Queens, politicians at the state and federal level called upon Mayor Michael Bloomberg and several utility companies to restore power back into the region.

The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), the main utility provider for the Rockaways, has come under criticism for what some electeds have called a lack of response to the darkness on the peninsula. Goldfeder said he was disappointed the utility company could not even provide a number sheet of how many were still without power, or when power would be restored.

“I asked LIPA ‘can you provide me with a fact sheet that I can give to people in my community?’ And they said ‘we’re working on it, we’ll have it to you by four o’clock today,’” he said. “Eleven days into this thing and you’re working on your fact sheets and your information for the people of the community? It’s, it’s crazy.”

LIPA has yet to respond to requests for comment.

State Senator Joseph Addabbo, set to represent the peninsula starting in January, said that while the storm — and a Nor’easter just a week later — halted recovery, LIPA needed to give residents a solid time frame of when their lights would be restored.

“It’s been more than a week, but when LIPA says they’re going to restore their power tomorrow, then you know what, people take them by their word, it should be tomorrow — not two days later,” he said. “If you’re going to give a time frame, try and stick to it. Don’t get the people’s hopes up. For safety’s sake, let’s get the street lights up.”

Addabbo and Congressmember Gregory Meeks both said accurate numbers and clear communication was needed between the communities and LIPA.

“People in the affected areas need precise answers to when and how services will be restored, what is being asked of them, and what assistance is available to help them to prepare for the restoration of power, heat and water,” Meeks said.

Queens Morning Roundup

| brennison@queenscourier.com

Today’s Forecast

Thursday: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 48. Breezy, with a northwest wind 17 to 20 mph. Thursday night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 37. Northwest wind 11 to 16 mph.

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Councilman James Sanders rips LIPA over Rockaway power outage

As tensions mount on a powerless Rockaway peninsula, the barbs being tossed at the Long Island Power Authority are becoming harsher with each passing day. City Councilman and soon-to-be state Sen. James Sanders Jr. blasted the utility on Wednesday and its top executive Michael Hervey after Sanders was told many of LIPA’s customers in Queens could be without power for up to three more weeks. Read more: Daily News

New York AG goes after post-Sandy price gougers

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Ex-con who shot Nassau County cop and motorist dead should be thrown in prison for the rest of his life: prosecutors

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