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Mangano, Cuomo Criticize LIPA's Response to Superstorm Sandy

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday had a few harsh words for the power authorities.

During a press conference at Cedar Creek Park in Seaford, Mangano said his office has requested from LIPA a bullet-point memo on procedures for getting power turned on in flood areas that they can distribute to residents, but so far the utility has not responded.

Mangano said many residents who live in designated flood zones south of Merrick Road have expressed frustration because of LIPA not making clear the proper process for having electrical systems inspected before power is restored. He also said the utility company has failed to adequately respond to customers in flood areas whose homes did not incur flood damage.

“[LIPA] has to be the ones leading the charge to get the lights on,” said a frustrated Mangano during the press conference held next to an American Red Cross feeding site established at Cedar Creek Park last week.

Cuomo, in a press briefing, called the Long Island Power Authority and other New York power utilities in general "archaic" and "unprepared" for the lashing Hurricane Sandy and winter storm Athena gave the Long Island and New York metropolitan area.

"This is a 1950s system with these utilities that are regulated by the the state, but they are bureaucracies that are in many ways a monopoly," Cuomo said, adding that "it's a system that just doesn't work for New York in an emergency crisis situation."

Power power outages jumped above 220,000 following Wednesday's nor'easter.

Joe Vicali, who lives in a northern section of Seaford in the Levittown School District showed up at Thursday’s press conference and voiced his anger at not having power for 11 days and LIPA’s lack of response to any of his questions.

“They are not picking up their phones," Vicali said. “LIPA has to be held responsible for this."
Mangano said the Merrick Fire Department and some other firefighters in Nassau County have stepped up to the plate to help with the inspection process to help get homes powered up that were not impacted by flooding south of Merrick Road.

He also added that the county’s three town supervisors in Hempstead, North Hempstead and Oyster Bay have been authorized by the county to go directly into LIPA sub stations with outage maps to inform electric crews on what non-flooded homes can have power turned on.

The LIPA press office did not immediately respond to a call seeking comment on Mangano’s criticism levied against the utility.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo also lashed out at LIPA in a press conference Thursday saying they were "unprepared" for Superstorm Sandy as well as the nor'easter that struck the area Wednesday.

Story by Andrew Coen and Henry Powderly

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