Cuomo Demands Accountability from Utilities

While distributing food to hurricane victims Saturday, governor demands accountability of LIPA.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a stern warning to public utilities Saturday, saying the state will hold LIPA and others responsible if they were not adequately prepared for Hurricane Sandy.

At a massive food distribution event at Republic Airport in Farmingdale, Cuomo said power has been restored to 60 percent of the New York metropolitan area.

LIPA reported Saturday evening that 460,000 customers remained without power, down from more than 900,000 initially.

"I've warned the utility companies repeatedly they operate under a state charter, essentially," Cuomo said. "The utility companies are not happy with my warning and frankly, I don't care.

"The customers are not happy. The bill payers are not happy and the people without power are not happy," Cuomo said. "People are suffering. It is an issue of safety and if the utilities were not prepared we will hold them accountable."

A senior LIPA official told Patch that full restoration to Long Island is not expected until next weekend.

LIPA, with federal and state assistance, is bringing in thousands of additional workers this weekend, LIPA officials said.

Cuomo also announced Saturday the state has received $27,792,296 in federal disaster funds to be used to hire workers who lost their jobs as a direct result of Hurricane Sandy. The metropolitan area workers are to be hired "to help clean up and recover communities impacted by Hurricane Sandy and put unemployed New Yorkers back to work,” Cuomo said.

To be eligible, workers must be unemployed as a result of Hurricane Sandy or unemployed and not receiving unemployment benefits or other types of income support. Those interested should call 1-888-4-NYSDOL (1-888-469-7365).

Also, Cuomo said all nine counties initially approved for federal disaster assistance, including Nassau and Suffolk, have been approved for additional funding under FEMA’s Public Assistance Program. The funds will help pay for emergency measures and debris removal.

(Editor's Note: Joe Dowd wrote this article.)
Melanie Donus November 06, 2012 at 04:59 PM
Thank you Barbara for your comments - TCBY will not let residents charge phone's unless they purchase something. How long have we supported them in the village? Also,commending GC Wine - they accepted credit cards 2 days after the storm. I encourage other's to add to the list of vendors who are helping residents (or not).
Julie Bold November 06, 2012 at 05:06 PM
If ConEdison and NJ PSEG can do it, why can't LIPA They are a poor excuse for a utility
christie nicolle November 06, 2012 at 10:49 PM
after i voted today i walked outside, past a long line of voters; i was wearing a large Mitt Romney button on my Red scarf + decided to use my loudest cheerleader voice, i yelled out "Mitt Romney our next President!" over + over again -- some clapped but two lefty guys screamed out F--U + almost grabbed me were it not for a cop's help. Really, it's a protest vote 'cause it's NY -- all locked up. TONIGHT, MITT ROMNEY WINS!
John K Massaro November 07, 2012 at 07:41 PM
How'd that work out for ya, LuLuu?
Anton November 08, 2012 at 12:39 AM
He didn't feel the need to waste his time here because he knows he had NY locked up. Neither candidate cares about anything other than themselves and their agenda. We were screwed no matter who won last night.


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