Bellone Cuts Ties with LIPA HQ

The Suffolk County executive said he is working with local substations to help get power back to long-suffering LIPA customers.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone on Saturday said he has started working directly with local substations to help power up most of the 33,000 LIPA customers still without power in the county.

Bellone said he is bypassing Long Island Power Authority's leaders because "they have proven to have no ability to communicate."

Bellone said by working with the substations, he would be able to deploy crews to areas without power and keep them in Suffolk County until nearly every resident and business is back on the grid.

"It had become clear that LIPA's headquarters didn't even know where the resources were," Bellone said. "This has been a massive failure in leadership. We no longer trust headquarters."

Bellone wasn't the only one to have harsh words for Long Island Power Authority leadership. In an interview Saturday afternoon, Babylon Supervisor Richard Schaffer called LIPA's performance "shocking."

Schaffer added that LIPA's rank-and-file workers were not to blame for the power authority's failure.

"The men and women running substations, the linemen, the crews in general have been great," Schaffer said. "They rejoice when anyone talks to them. This isn't their fault."

Bellone also asked residents to take it easy on the field workers, who he said "are working 17-hour days."

Bellone said most Suffolk ratepayers should have power by late Sunday night.

fay November 16, 2012 at 02:59 AM
I agree, since this storm hit I've been saying "and this is suppose to be an advanced society?"
fay November 16, 2012 at 03:11 AM
Here is an interesting story about LIPA, in September of 2011 I had someone from Lipa check a telephone pole on my property. When I asked him why LIPA doesn't cut back the trees hanging over all the power lines on the roads he said " if we did that many people would be out of jobs" so, if any one is wondering why they don't cut back the trees over all the power lines you now know some LIpa workers rely on power outages, at the expense of the general public, so they can keep their jobs.
Mike Chubre November 18, 2012 at 07:40 AM
How many rotten poles are being paid for by the federal government ? And other items as well. Utilities get paid for these broken poles after claiming they broke from the storm. How many were already broken , rotten and waiting to fall??? A primary line can have a tree limb bump it many times before the line burns down , because sometimes bigger fuses are put in than they should have . They do this to avoid tree outages . Problem is , if they dont get to trim those trees soon the lines burn down instead of a fuse blowing . If they had the proper size fuse , the tree limb might blow out the line the first time its bumped by the limp . Sneaky little tricks the utility uses to look good on paper . Like having salt built up on the insulators on the power poles . The current jumps the insulater and burns down the line . Nobodys knows about these things and they get blamed on animals act of God, sometimes anything but maintiance . Insulaters on the beachs needs to be cleaned overtime. The utilites have alot of tricks up their sleeves . They roll the dice and most dont know better. Problem is , the utilities today are in the same bed as the PSC . Not many tree related outages on paper , allows the utilities to cut tree trimming . Its amazing what you can do with a pencil and paper
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