NEW YORK – New Yorkers railed Sunday against a utility that has lagged behind others in restoring power two weeks after a superstorm socked the region.
About 120,000 customers in New York and New Jersey remained without power Sunday. More than 8 million lost power during Superstorm Sandy and some during a later nor’easter.
Perhaps no utility has drawn criticism as harsh as the Long Island Power Authority. Nearly 50,000 of the homes and businesses it serves were still without power Sunday evening, and 55,000 more couldn’t safely connect although their local grids were back online because wiring and other equipment had been flooded. It would need to be repaired or inspected before those homes could regain power, LIPA said.
In a conference call late Sunday, LIPA’s chief operating officer, Michael Hervey, said Sandy had been worse than expected and the power was coming back rapidly “compared to the damage that’s been incurred.”
Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano said Sunday that LIPA had failed to answer even simple questions from its customers and that Sandy’s magnitude wasn’t an excuse.
Mangano and other lawmakers have urges the federal government to step in and help restore power to Long Island, saying LIPA could not be trusted to get the job done.
On Sunday, LIPA said it had restored power to 95 percent of homes and businesses where it was safe to receive power and that that figure would be 99 percent by the end of Tuesday. It didn’t give an estimate for the remaining customers.