LIPA restores service to over 735,000 customers; Customers with electrical water damage urged to obtain inspection certificates
(Uniondale, N.Y.) – LIPA and National Grid have restored service to over 735,000 customers impacted by Hurricane Sandy over the past six days. 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, 219,000 customers remain without power, excluding those customers in the most severely flooded areas that may currently be unable to receive power.
Over 11,000 restoration workers, including 7,300 linemen and tree workers from throughout the country continue to work aggressively, day-and-night, to restore service as safely and quickly as the situation allows. Support from off Long Island continues to arrive each day, with a portion of those arriving having even been airlifted in by the National Guard from as far away asCalifornia,Washington andArizona. The combination of off and on-Island resources has helped to amass the largest workforce ever for such efforts onLong Island.
Extensive tree damage and numerous downed poles and wires have made the effort extremely challenging. Nonetheless, through the hard work and dedication, these workers have safely restored power to 75% of all customers that had lost and are able to accept power. As a result, 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.
LIPA continues 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.
In addition, LIPA estimates that there are a significant number of customers from the most severely flooded areas whose homes and businesses currently may be unable to receive power. LIPA is working with local county and village authorities in those communities to implement a process to safely restore power.
As part of this process, LIPA advises customers that all flood-damaged electrical equipment must be inspected before power can be restored to their premises. Extreme flooding from Sandy submerged electrical panels, wires and electrical outlets, causing concerns for the safety of Long Island residents and their property. LIPA cannot bring power to these affected homes and businesses without a proper electrical inspection.
On the Rockaway peninsula, LIPA has mobilized an estimated 350 restoration resources to work to bring power to some of the most devastated areas. In addition, a special taskforce was deployed today including employees from LIPA and National Grid, electricians and plumbers to make door-to-door inspections to determine which homes are capable to safely accept 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. In addition, as many of these crews are from offLong Island, they are unfamiliar with our roads and therefore ask that you provide them the necessary courtesy as you encounter them when driving.
Remember, 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.
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 YorkState 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