Ilya Marritz covers business for WNYC.
Cuomo Slams Long Island Electricity Providers for Outages
Friday, September 02, 2011 - 04:54 PM
With tens of thousands of households still without power, Governor Andrew Cuomo ripped into the utility responsible for Long Island's electricity network.
Cuomo said the Long Island Power Authority has done a poor job of communicating with customers. As a result, he said LIPA should think twice before renewing its agreement with National Grid, the private company that manages electricity transmissions on the Island.
"If National Grid hopes to renew its contract, they better get the power on now," Cuomo said in the statement.
Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano thought the governor was right on the mark and that almost a week later, people were understandably outraged. "I think what adds insult to injury is just the poor communication as to a time line when they can expect their electricity back on," he said.
The executive director and president of National Grid, Tom King, said it was on track to restore power to more than 90 percent of Long Island Power Authority customers impacted by Tropical Storm Irene by Friday night, and expected 99 perecent of impacted customers to have power restored by Sunda.
"We are very proud of the work our men and women are doing to restore power and the partnership we have with LIPA in working together to make the decisions that have led to such a successful restoration effort for Irene," King stated. "We understand the frustration of Long Island Power Authority customers who have been without power since Hurricane Irene hit Long Island and the reason for Gov. Cuomo’s focus on restoring power to the fewer than 10 percent of the impacted customers who will remain affected by Irene this evening. That’s our focus, too."
The governor of New York appoints the majority of the Trustees on LIPA's board.