Mangano Criticizes LIPA's Response to Superstorm Sandy

County exec says at Thursday press conference in Seaford that utility's communication efforts been poor in aftermath of Oct. 29 natural disaster.

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano criticized the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) Thursday for their communication efforts since Superstorm Sandy.

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.

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. More than 100,000 LIPA customers lost power during Wednesday's snowstorm on top of the outages still in place from Sandy.  

Joanne m November 08, 2012 at 10:49 PM
Nice, but where has he been for 10 days???
Chris November 08, 2012 at 10:57 PM
We can no longer depend on government to help us. They take enormous amounts of money from us in taxes and we get NOTHING!!! The Governor on down......What a joke!! There has never been preparation from our elected representatives for any of this. They get on TV and pretend to care. They don't! They will have endless meetings and photo ops and nothing will change!
TCK November 08, 2012 at 11:28 PM
I would like to thank the workers in the field from LIPA and other states that have been working non stop to get the power on. It's the management that failed us! We pay and pay and for the second year in a row we lose power!
Laura November 09, 2012 at 12:11 AM
Town of Hempstead and County are doing their part. Sanitation pick-up constantly, tree removal, shelters, warming centers, etc. You should be taken care of your father, if you live out of state, get on a plane. Neighbors should be looking out for frail and elderly. Call Red Cross if you are concerned about someone who is alone. If you have been watching the news, on the internet or reading a newspaper you would have seen County Exec. Mangano blasting LIPA. He was also on 102.3 BAB doing same. They have no control over LIPA. LIPA is responsible for LIPA and no one else. I want to take this time to thank all workers who have been working around clock. Alot of them also lost power and homes were flooded. Thank you for all your hard work. Donna might not appreciate but my family and I do.
Jim November 09, 2012 at 12:35 AM
Mangano deflecting the blame so it looks like he's not a complete useless piece of shit whose gone missing during the entire crisis.
Kevin B November 09, 2012 at 01:33 AM
Mangano has been out there since day one, and for a county with so few employees, have done a magnificent job. The Town of Hempstead has been steadily trying to pick up garbage from everyone and down along the shore, with rip outs of water soaked materials and whatever else people had in their basements, garages, living areas which were ripped out in some cases by contractors who are supposed to get a dumpster. TOH has been clearing roads of trees and debris also. LIPA, well, that is another story, but that falls to the PSC and the Governor, who has fallen off the face of the earth since he said the gas issue would be resolved by this past sunday. As for your "enormous"taxes, 70% which go to educate your children, not turn on your electricity, clear the roads, etc.
Debbie Harford November 09, 2012 at 01:34 AM
When I receive the next LIPA bill, I am returning it marked "assessing condition"
Laurie Ann Ellul November 09, 2012 at 01:58 AM
I totally agree with Mrs.. Hartford! Everyone should return their bill to LIPA marked assessing condition! Maybe that would be a wake up call to them!!
JOE November 09, 2012 at 04:47 AM
I have just been informed that there is going to be a massive rally on Monday in front of the LIPA offices on Old Country Road in Hicksville at 10 am. If anyone knows where to get the inflatable rat that you see at protests, We need that for Monday
audrey faldicha November 09, 2012 at 06:13 AM
how south freeport in flood zone get electric back before 5 blocks in westbury is freakin beyond me
Brian Garvey November 09, 2012 at 12:15 PM
All the politicians are mad. Great. What are they gonna do. Nothing. Get the power back on and fire the LIPA mgmt. at this point I don't care what happens first as long as they both happen.
Pam Bilfeld November 09, 2012 at 12:18 PM
What about Great Neck??????!!!!!!
Robert Demarco November 09, 2012 at 12:44 PM
In my development, some have power and some don't. On some blocks, one side of the street has power and the other side does not. During Wednesday's storm the tranformer on the pole in my yard blew, putting the development back in the dark. They restored some blocks, but I am told that LIPA ran out of the parts needed to restore our power, and I am not talking about poles. If this is true, the management needs to explain. None of this has to do with the guys on the ground; this is the fault of LIPA management and their lack of logistical expertise.
Catuzza November 09, 2012 at 02:02 PM
Just stop reimbursements from FEMA to LIPA (and the other companies). That way LIPA will be forced to put the wires underground, where they belong!
fred November 09, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Mr Mangano you don’t know what it is like. It’s politician like you who like to pass the buck and not take any responsibility. If LIPA was not able to carry out this mission why wasn’t something done before this disaster to this company. Should you have know . Didn’t you people learn from Irene.I for one will be watching our local politician to see what the do going forward. We can’t get rid of Lipa but we can vote you and your colleagues out off office.
Cosmo November 09, 2012 at 02:30 PM
Mangano should be sitting in LIPA's office not holding press conferences. Work with them. LIPA is clueless, we know that already, they need your help and monitoring, stay on top of them. They county is understaffed with lazy cronies because you laid off the real workers.
Bethpager November 09, 2012 at 02:31 PM
Not most of Bethpage was up. I just got and most of my neighbors are still down!!! They don't even have their middle school open so get facts straight Joe.
Cosmo November 09, 2012 at 02:36 PM
I hope come election time we remember who forgot about us and left us out in the cold. From Cuomo down to Mangano to our county and state reps.
Janet Jeddah November 09, 2012 at 03:30 PM
In 1968 I lived in southeastern Queens. We had a 27 inch blizzard that NYC failed utterly to prepare for. We were trapped literally in more than two feet of unplowed snow for more than a week; no school, no work, no ability to go out even to restock supplies. The Mayor was voted out and that level of unpreparedness was never seen again. Last year's Irene afforded LIPA et al to correct obvious problems. They did not. Instead we now pay double what we used to in the form of a "supply fee". Dare we wait for a third calamity to befall Long Island? The third time should not be the charm. I for one will be at LIPA on Monday morning to protest. I hope others will be there too. OUR lives are literally on the line here....
Catuzza November 09, 2012 at 03:36 PM
Janet, Not only FEMA reimburses LIPA, but we pay also to reimburse it? Such as, LIPA is rewarded for keeping its infrastructure lousy. Why would it change? What incentive does it have to invest to put its wired underground?
Leigh Mertz November 09, 2012 at 03:57 PM
How hypocritical of you Mr. Mangano. YOU had your power restored almost immediately. Time to kick you to the curb as well.
Kathy P November 09, 2012 at 04:46 PM
These comments demonstrate that Long Islanders are terribly upset about the way LIPA is handling or mishandling the aftermath of the storm. Clearly, there are issues of gross inefficiency that need to be dealt with quickly. The No 1 item on the agenda should be to restore power to remaining consumers. We've waited long enough...in fact...too long. Addionally, serious action should be taken to hold management and polititians accountable. While I appreciate the stand that is being taken now, I'm tired of any kind of talk right now....Let's see some serious action. We want out of this rut!!!!! Do what's right for Long Islanders NOW.
Elena180m November 09, 2012 at 04:48 PM
We're near the JH school in Hicksville RIGHT near where the polls were in the gym! We are freezing and the poll workers were also freezing. It is the 13th hour and yet Lipa told me it be done last Monday up to Wednesday. I actually did speak to a very nice Lipa person, but nothing was warmed up here. There are wires on the ground STILL!
Brian Karcher November 09, 2012 at 07:41 PM
Mangano and cuomo's jobs are on the line. If Bush was President the media would be bashing this every minute of every single day
Art November 09, 2012 at 07:56 PM
You are experiencing the apathy, lack of concern, indifference of those you have elected to leadership. This has been going on for several decades. It is in a crises you separate the boys from the men. And you want to run a Marathon in the middle of a disaster. Tell people gas lines will be eliminated in a couple of days. Electric will be restored -???
Pat November 09, 2012 at 08:43 PM
LIPA fails in communication and definitely earns an "F" in that department. However, we cannot build houses on the water and maintain our beautifully treed neighborhoods and expect that in a storm of this magnitude that it will not take weeks to get the power back up. My neighborhood looked like a war zone the day after the storm with a downed tree every 100'. Do you expect LIPA to have parts available in the quantity they need right now and to have enough people to be in every community immediately after the storm? We are so used to our conveniences and now expect instant gratification in our "Apple" world. If this were September, the complaints would not be as loud, but it is cold and that contributes to the frustration. I have seen plenty of trucks out, but there are assessments and safety issues to be considered. If LIPA would clarify in an announcement and press release what the procedure is for getting an electrical certification and then how to proceed to get power turned on, they would alleviate a good deal of the anger. Secondly, they need to install a temporary phone bank and get more people answering phones. Good communication goes a long way in keeping people calm and accepting of the difficulties.
Catuzza November 09, 2012 at 09:07 PM
Yes, it can be done! Putting the WIRES UNDERGROUND, like they have them in Manhattan, where there was no blackout caused by fallen trees. It costs much more than with the poles but it solves the problem once and for all! Of course LIPA does not do it because it gets reimbursed by FEMA and by extra charges to us for the poles repairs.
Michael G. November 09, 2012 at 10:26 PM
LIPA has 1950's equipment in the 21st century. Modern sensors (connected to a computer network) on transformers can cut out the current before real harm is done. Putting main wires underground in some critical locations would prevent some major outages. Laws about private persons having to trim or remove trees on their property that put power lines at risk must be enacted. Villages like Muttontown that make it nearly impossible to remove a tree must be brought to task for this stupidity. If we leave it up to LIPA, this will all happen again. Get on the case of your local legislator and let's get some action. Once was enough.
Art November 10, 2012 at 12:31 PM
Michael G. has touched on a major point. Fortunately we had a dying & diseased tree removed by the Town a month before Sandy. Removal was obstructed by someone protesting its removal and delayed the process. I wonder if that person would assume the liability of the trees future damages? Restrictions should be placed on the type of tree planted and permits should be required for any tree over 5 feet growing wildly or cultivated. Some of the trees are a menace to neighbors and there is nothing they can do. Local governments should address this problem now.
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