LIPA AND NATIONAL GRID RESTORE SERVICE TO NEARLY 675,000 CUSTOMERS AFFECTED BY HURRICANE SANDY; ON TRACK TO HAVE MOST CUSTOMERS RESTORED BY NOVEMBER 7th
Rockaways, Long Beach, and the South Shore Communities Remain a Restoration Priority
(Uniondale, N.Y.) – LIPA and National Grid have restored service to approximately 675,000 customers affected by Hurricane Sandy. From the over one million LIPA customers who lost power due to the super storm that affected eight million electric customers along the east coast, 370,000 customers remain without power. This number includes approximately 100,000 customers in the most severely flooded areas on the south shore, particularly in Long Beach and the Rockaways, where homes and businesses may currently be unable to receive power.
LIPA continues to work around the clock, seven days a week, to restore service as safely and quickly as the situation allows. Nearly 10,000 restoration workers, including 5,200 linemen from throughout the country, continue to work to restore homes and businesses with the expectation of restoring power to 700,000 customers back by the end of this evening. To further support this effort, an additional 1,700 restoration workers arrived last night, with 1,100 workers expected to arrive today. A portion of yesterday’s crews and those who are arriving today, have been airlifted in by the National Guard from as far away as California, Washington and Arizona.
LIPA is on track to have 90% of all customers back online by Wednesday, November 7th with tens of thousands of customers being restored daily. Of the remaining customers to be restored we:
- continue to restore power to customers in the most severely damaged areas in and around Brookville, St. James and Port Jefferson, and we are advising customers that they should plan for the potential that power restoration could extend a week or more beyond November 7th.
- currently estimate that there are up to 100,000 customers from the most severely flooded areas on Long Island whose homes and businesses currently may be unable to receive power. LIPA is working with local authorities in those communities to determine when these homes and businesses will be fit to safely receive electric service.
The Rockaways, Long Beach, and the south shore of Long Island are communities that were hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy and they remain a restoration priority. Safety remains a big concern as many homes and businesses have been flooded severely, which has raised a potential safety risk due to possible water intrusion into the customer owned electric panels, wiring or appliances.
In Rockaway, LIPA has mobilized an estimated 100 restoration crews and has established an operation center in Rockaway Beach. LIPA is working closely with the NYPD, FDNY and NYCHA to energize traffic safety and streetlights. In Long Beach, we are developing a plan and working with the City to identify and implement a process to safely restore power.
In south shore communities, LIPA has restored power to most of the main lines that supply electricity along a west to east boundary across the south shore of Long Island established by Atlantic Avenue, Merrick Road and Montauk Highway. We are developing a plan and working with the local communities to identify and implement a process to safely restore power.
Customers are reminded to please stay clear of crews working in your neighborhood. Restoration work requires well-established safety procedures, including clearance zones around work sites. If you see any downed wire, stay away from it, keep others away, and report it to LIPA immediately at 1-800-490-0075 or 631-755-6900. Always treat any downed wire as if it is live even several days into restoration. Keep in mind that wires can become entangled in and hidden from view by storm debris.
Restoration efforts continue to give priority to critical health facilities, areas of public safety, schools, and key components of the electric system. Power has now been restored to all of the hospitals that are able to receive power. The substations that power Long Island’s electric system have also been restored. This is significant because it is these electrical facilities that allow us to bring power to local neighborhoods.
Customers can stay tuned to local media for updated storm information or visit LIPA’s Storm Central at www.lipower.org.
LIPA and National Grid offer the following tips for customers during this storm event:
- To find a shelter near you, text SHELTER and your zip code to #43362 (4FEMA). Or, you can reach the American Red Cross at 1.877.733.2767.
- You can help in our restoration effort by helping to ensure the safety and security of our restoration personnel who are working around the clock, seven days a week to restore your power. As you are driving and see crews working in roadways, please slow down your vehicle and keep a safe distance as you pass them. When you encounter crews in your communities, please maintain a safe distance from them as they are completing their work. For safety reasons, crews are required to stop what they’re doing when someone enters their work area. Please do not impede their progress.
- We are aware that well-intentioned customers are taking it upon themselves to clear blocked roads and remove downed trees. Working around potentially live electric wires is extremely dangerous. Please do not make a difficult situation worse by compromising your own safety. We ask you to be patient and wait for experienced crews to arrive.
- Never touch downed power lines, and always assume that any fallen lines are live electric wires. To report downed power lines call 1-800-490-0075.
- All LIPA and National Grid employees involved in electric restoration carry identification badges, and almost all restoration work can be completed without entering your home. For your own safety, please do not allow anyone into your home without first verifying identification.
- Stay out of flooded basements, even if the power is out. Stay clear from the breaker box if it’s in a flooded basement.
- If you use a generator to supply power during an outage, be sure to only operate it outdoors. Before operating generators, be sure to disconnect from the electric system by shutting off the main breaker located in the electric service panel. Failure to do this could jeopardize the safety of crews working to restore power.
- Take appropriate precautions when removing downed trees, digging or drilling into the ground, or hiring someone to repair damaged sidewalks to avoid hitting natural gas lines and buried electric cables. Calling 811 before you start your work is a FREE SERVICE and can help you avoid costly and dangerous damages that result from hitting an unmarked utility line. Whenever you are planning to dig, even if repairing a sidewalk or removing a downed tree, call 811 before you start your work. It’s New York State law. Additional damages will hamper restoration efforts and put you, the crew and the public at risk. Damaged utility lines can further burden emergency service personnel who are already pushed to the limit during this difficult time.
LIPA, a non-profit municipal electric provider, owns the retail electric Transmission and Distribution System on Long Island and provides electric service to more than 1.1 million customers in Nassau and Suffolk counties and the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens. LIPA is the 2nd largest municipal electric utility in the nation in terms of electric revenues, 3rd largest in terms of customers served and the 7th largest in terms of electricity delivered. In 2011, LIPA outperformed all other overhead electric utilities in New York State for frequency and duration of service interruptions. LIPA does not provide natural gas service or own any on-island generating assets. More information about LIPA can be found online at a http://www.lipower.org