Residents, officials demand answers from LIPA - New York News

Residents, officials demand answers from LIPA

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If you ask people without power on Long Island, they are clear on who is at fault for the lack of electricity: LIPA, the Long Island Power Authority, with its budget of $3.7 billion.

Politicians echoed that Monday. 

In June, New York's Public Service Commission reviewed LIPA's handling of hurricane turned tropical storm Irene. It concluded that LIPA did not trim enough trees before the storm (those fallen trees downed power line), LIPA did not keep up maintenance like replacing rotting utility poles, LIPA had a mainframe computer for its operations including damage assessment and surveys that is 25 years old -- way out of date, and LIPA had poor communications with staff, customers and officials -- not even having enough fax machines.

All these failings appear to have occurred again during Sandy.

But LIPA's head and the head of National Grid, which runs LIPA's equipment, said they disagree.

LIPA has said Sandy was worse than anyone expected and the authority has restored one million customer accounts.

But Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is ultimately responsible for LIPA, a state agency, has said the entire management of LIPA may have to be changed.

The LIPA board of trustees still has as chairman Howard Steinberg, whose term expired more than a year ago. The board only has 10 of 15 spots filled.

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