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Story - News

Oct 31, 2012 11:10 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press

UPDATE: LIPA Says It's On Track For 90 Percent Restored By Wednesday

Nov 5, 2012 10:58 AM

Some parts of town saw more outages on Thursday. The Southampton Village area of Southampton still has the most outages, 5,336, an increase over the 5,199 as of yesterday. Shinnecock Hills also went up Thursday, to 4,381 outages, from 4,351 Wednesday. The other parts of town with the most outages Wednesday are Hampton Bays with 3,656, East Quogue with 2,777, Westhampton Beach with 2,639, and Westhampton with 2,471. The number of outages in Bridgehampton dropped to 1,348 from 3,314 Wednesday.

In East Hampton, where most of the outages are in Springs, the number of customers without power dropped to 2,194 from 6,980 on Wednesday.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Hurricane Sandy’s sweep up the Atlantic Seaboard early this week yanked down power lines across eastern Long Island, knocking out electricity to tens of thousands of homes and businesses, with no immediate return to light expected.

As of Wednesday morning, two days after the brunt of Sandy’s “Frankenstorm” fury, the Long Island Power Authority reported that most of its customers in East Hampton and Southampton towns were still without power, but service is gradually being restored.

Brutal winds toppled trees and battered utility lines up and down the island, causing LIPA crews to scramble to restore power as quickly and safely as possible.

Southampton Town had 35,060 power outages as of Wednesday morning, down from 44,274 on Tuesday afternoon. The areas of town with the most outages on Wednesday were Southampton, with 5,199, and Shinnecock Hills, with 4,341, followed by East Quogue (3,792), Hampton Bays (3,611) and Bridgehampton (3,314). LIPA reported no outages in Sagaponack Village, though Mayor Don Louchheim estimated that his village actually had about 120 homes without power.

East Hampton Town, meanwhile, had 16,604 outages as of Wednesday morning, down from 21,065 on Tuesday afternoon, according to LIPA.

Mark Gross, communications director for LIPA, said the utility was still in an assessment stage on Tuesday. “Before the storm, we were saying seven to 10 days, but, obviously, when we have this many outages, customers should be prepared to hang in longer than that,” he said.

Sandy far surpassed last year’s Hurricane Irene in terms of power outages, Mr. Gross said. “By far, it’s the most devastating storm on Long Island,” he said of Sandy. “This is every bit as [bad] as we feared.”

The day after Sandy struck, approximately 940,000 people across Long Island saw their power go out, a number that accounts for about 85 percent of LIPA’s customers, according to Mr. Gross. By comparison, Hurricane Irene, which pummeled the East End as a tropical storm in August 2011, left about 523,000 people without electricity. It took about eight days to fully restore power following Irene. Most people who lost power from Irene, or 54 percent, had their electricity restored two days after that storm struck.

The number of outages resulting from Sandy also surpassed those of Hurricane Gloria, which resulted in 750,000 outages in 1985; Hurricane Bob, which left 380,000 without power in 1991; and a powerful nor’easter in March 2010, which left 263,000 in the dark.

The power authority on Tuesday was planning to use helicopters as part of its assessment. Mr. Gross said crews would start with the transmission system that feeds the substations, followed by the neighborhood distribution lines. Traditionally, if a problem can be corrected at the substation level, power may be restored to a large number of customers, according to LIPA.

“If you don’t see the crews in your neighborhoods right away, that doesn’t mean we’re not working,” Mr. Gross said.

Facilities deemed critical and that receive a priority when it comes to restoration include hospitals and nursing homes, jails, police and fire facilities, water pumping stations, schools, and the Long Island Rail Road. Aside for a slight disruption during the storm, Southampton Hospital never lost its LIPA connection, according to Marsha Kenny, a spokeswoman for the medical center.

As of Wednesday morning, Southampton Town Police headquarters in Hampton Bays was still operating on generator power, officials said. Southampton Town Hall, meanwhile, lost power for about a day after the storm and was back online as of Tuesday afternoon.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the power authority had commitments from about 350 out-of-town crews, including workers from several states, including Virginia, Iowa, Michigan, California and Oregon.

Cable and telephone service were also widely disrupted by Sandy. Verizon posted a “service emergency” message on its website on Wednesday stating that customers may experience a loss of all services, including FiOS, high-speed internet and standard phone service, as a result of the storm. Verizon engineers are “working around the clock” to restore services as quickly as possible, but commercial power may need to be restored first, it states, adding that technicians will be unable to replace or restring damaged lines until utility poles and the major lines are restored.

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Saw a crew from North Houston Texas today working on North Sea Rd. near the Sandy Hollow light, 3 hours later we got our power back, thank you!
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Oct 31, 12 5:32 PM
Yes, last year we waited a week so we feared the worst but we got our power back today in North Sea near the downed power line.
By Q333 (161), Southampton on Oct 31, 12 6:25 PM
I cant see how these schools are going to open up by mon with so many people out of power and now a fuel shortage for the busses to deal with.
By louse pt. (143), springs on Nov 2, 12 11:14 AM
Curious as to why there are more power outages in Southampton Village than the rest of the town and have in fact increased. I have yet to see repair crews in my neighborhood; electrical wires are hanging in the streets surrounding my house with the only action being the placement of orange cones.

A tree blocking my street was finally partially removed ysterday after I placed numerous calls to Village officials.

What's going on here?
By Silverthorn (1), Southampton on Nov 2, 12 11:27 AM
They are punishing the rich and entitled
By TianaBob (256), S.Jamesport on Nov 4, 12 7:36 AM
Why is Shinnecock Hills always the last to get their power back? It is not like Southampton Village, whicj is full of old elms that topple over in a light breeze.
By Walt (292), Southampton on Nov 2, 12 1:34 PM
Lipa is lying again...No outages in North Sea? They can't find the outages, but they sure no where to send the bills...I hope the town is not buying into this farce.
By V.Tomanoku (790), southampton on Nov 2, 12 2:47 PM
Bridies Path in southampton seems to be the only street in North Sea area without power currently...roses grove was supposedly restored as of 1pm today and the LIPA map shows no other outages!!
By ginger (1), southampton on Nov 2, 12 2:49 PM
That is why I'm at the Library writing this. Are you a LIPA sockpuppet? Only one posting?Pleeeese...
By V.Tomanoku (790), southampton on Nov 2, 12 3:21 PM
NJ Governor Christie demands a list from ALL NJ electrical utilities a list of all their man power, in each city, and how many homes will be restored each day. Got it 3 hours later. WHERE is Cuomo on this with LIPA? LIPA says they have no idea how long or when.
Christie announces that ALL of Atlantic City and Long Beach Island will have power by Saturday midnight.
Yet the east end, with minimal damage, has less than 30% of the outages resolved FIVE DAYS LATER. Fire LIPA.
By garyhampton (2), Amagansett on Nov 2, 12 3:23 PM
Article updated re: LIPA's announcement that this repair is going to take MORE than another week, which implies:

-- LIPA has a list or work to be done
-- estimates of man hours needed for each item on the list
-- take total man hours and divide by workforce available

AND THIS EQUATES TO OVER A WEEK TO FINISH THE JOB! [and even then LIPA has exceptions]

What is the one variable which is noticeable here?

"Available workforce"

Get it? Not enough ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Nov 2, 12 5:42 PM
“We’ve been out here 25 years and LIPA has promised to build up its infrastructure,” he said, “But we’ve never seen any examples of this, only excuses.”

You can bump that up to at least forty..
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Nov 2, 12 6:19 PM
Just like many, we had the great crew from North Houston working on N Main at between North Sea Mecox and 39. They did amazing work, despite being constantly pulled. They early thus afternoon and we were told LIPA had to power the lines up. It is over 6 hours later and nothing.
By thomasmc (13), Southampton on Nov 2, 12 6:20 PM
This may be a bit off topic, but I'm thinking this will be a heavily read thread. Should you still be out of power/cablevision, but can keep your laptop/desktop powered with a generator, or batteries I have a way for those with Android phones to connect to the net tethered via USB, or via Bluetooth and the software is FREE.

From either the Google Store, or June Fabrics directly get a copy of PDA Net downloaded to your phone. Install the app, and run it. You will need a USB cable, or Bluetooth ...more
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Nov 2, 12 6:22 PM
Most iPhones can sign up for a personal hotspot with the cell provider, which does this also. The 4G signal from the cell phone to the laptop is slow, but better than nothing.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Nov 2, 12 7:02 PM
PDA Net does that as well. It's a triple feature. Tether, Bluetooth, and hotspot.

By "sign up", does that mean you incur a fee?
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Nov 2, 12 7:34 PM
Yes, at least when I added the personal hotspot with AT&T the other day, I had to give up my unlimited data plan that came with the iPhone, and go for a 5GB data plan (per month) which added about $40 to my monthly bill. This one WIFI personal hotspot can be used by other laptops, and by iPads (with the password), so the increase in monthly cost seemed to make sense for the family unit. When traveling, the roaming hotspot will be quite useful IMO when one is out of WIFI coverage.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Nov 2, 12 7:45 PM
You may not like to hear this, but my Net10 Android is flat rate unlimited everything, $50 per month. No extra charges ever, and the tether software for Android is free.

They no longer offer my phone, but they do offer a version of the Samsung Galaxy (Proclaim), for $180 to get one started. It only has a half GB RAM on board like mine, but it has the 1GHz CPU and is capable of accommodating a 32GB microSD card. It's Android, so half a gig is alot of memory, technically speaking...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Nov 5, 12 12:39 AM
Having vented, I understand that the workers at LIPA are working as hard as they can, it is just frustrating to not know why we don't have power since all the lines have been repaired. If only a LIPA truck would make an appearance to give us information. I think we are officially North Sea and according to their map, there are 0 outages...obviously a mistake.
By thomasmc (13), Southampton on Nov 2, 12 6:37 PM
No Cablevision in areas of Noyac, even though power was restored days ago. Only 961 customers without service? "I don't think so."

Please list them Cablevision, and fax the list to the Press, and to all Southampton Town officials.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Nov 2, 12 6:51 PM
1 member liked this comment
Customer service is not picking up. On hold for 15 minutes, and cell system dropped call.

OOL Triple Play VOIP phone is obviously out.

It will be interesting to see how many people go back to Verizon POTS hard lines after this.

Pretty hard to dial 911 when the line is dead.

"Triple Play" ???

Yeah, three outs at once = inning over!
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Nov 2, 12 6:58 PM
1 member liked this comment
Cablevision is totally lying. They also refuse to pick up their phones and have the nerve to tell you to use the Internet to file an outage.
By rv (38), watermill on Nov 2, 12 9:39 PM
1 member liked this comment
DSL Reports has a forum for Optonline outages. The geographic range is quite wide. [link below in case it is delete-able]
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Nov 3, 12 8:55 AM
http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r27669677-Hurricane-Sandy-Frankenstorm-Outages-Issues-Updates
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Nov 3, 12 8:56 AM
Are they Sand(y) Bagging us?

Optimum.net homepage has a pop-up window which says only 812 outages for LI East. ["Check your service status here" at top right]

You also can email them from this page. ["If you need to report a service outage" link in blue in the middle of the page]

812 still out. Yeah, and I would like to buy that bridge you have for sale too!
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Nov 3, 12 9:09 AM
LIPA just told us that North Sea outages won't be fixed until Wed night and they posted it on their outage report online....feeling a little stunned. I just hope the gas situation eases because we are going to need it for our generator.
By thomasmc (13), Southampton on Nov 3, 12 12:23 PM
My mistake...the website says North Haven is Wed....but they still told us on the phone that North Sea is Wed as well...
By thomasmc (13), Southampton on Nov 3, 12 1:19 PM
Article updated.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Nov 3, 12 3:38 PM
There needs to be a better way to inform people/homeowners on how long these type of outages are going to last. This archaic system of of saying "expect power out for 7-10 days" is no way of handling the situation. I understand that it is a huge undertaking and the linemen are out day and night working tirelessly to repair the lines but people need to have a better time frame of when they are going to get power back. To an outside viewer (like myself) it seem that LIPA is just haphazardly sending ...more
By Jetsboy (3), Hampton Bays on Nov 4, 12 12:43 PM
2 members liked this comment
Lets face it. LIPA sucks! LIPA charges extremely high rates, among the highest in the nation, and uses antiquated equipment. Where I live transformers blow almost any time there is severe weather and high winds. How about using better/stronger wiring, burying more lines, more wind resistent equipment. For what we pay, LIPA SUCKS!
By louse pt. (143), springs on Nov 4, 12 5:32 PM
LIPA crews worked on Squiretown Road and Red Creek Road yesterday, Sunday, there was heavy damage. They got the work done and power back on within a few hours, thank you LIPA.
By joan s (53), hampton bays on Nov 5, 12 7:50 AM
Just saw the Katrinaesqe spray painted signs on Noyac Road.
Sunset Shores how can we help?
By Q333 (161), Southampton on Nov 5, 12 11:41 AM
Seven days on laptop, UPS, and tethered phone. Generator used sparingly.

No electric, no cable, and it would take 14m (45 feet) of sea level rise to see water at the house, but nothing is buried.

Stop rewarding executives/management for failure, and put that money into infrastructure. After all, it really is the RATEPAYER'S (customer's) money, isn't it? It's not like they have competition, or we have any other choice for electric service...
Nov 5, 12 12:01 PM appended by Mr. Z
And for reference, the houses on our street a 1/4 mile away have had power for at least three days. It's so nice to come to the stop sign, look left and see lights, then turn right to go home to a dark house.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Nov 5, 12 12:01 PM
I went without everything for a week last year so I feel your pain.
By Q333 (161), Southampton on Nov 5, 12 1:07 PM
Frankly, this year is the sequel. It was over a week with Irene.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Nov 5, 12 1:21 PM
You can't really place all the blame on LIPA. Lack og tree trimming leaves the power lines vulnerable every time the winds kick up. Towns like Southampton and Easthampton won't allow the power company to trim trees far enough away from the power lines because it will ruin the view. Well people, you can't have it both ways. You are letting a small minority of rich people dictate town policy that affects all.
By Walt (292), Southampton on Nov 5, 12 1:29 PM
The lines should have gone underground decades ago. If you amortize the higher capital costs of burying the lines, I imagine it would have been WAY less than the costs of storm-related repairs (and hidden but significant homeowner and business costs, lost profits, etc. etc.).

Vision!
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Nov 5, 12 5:17 PM
Not sure but I think we may be one of the only countries that has a majority of it's power line above ground.
By dnice (2346), Hampton Bays on Nov 6, 12 4:44 PM
Electric power, fortunately has been okay for a week now at my place, but no cable tv or internet or telephone. And at the Cablevision store on Hill St. they just give a snotty "service is out all over" response when asked if there are any projections for repair.
By rickyonmain (10), southampton on Nov 7, 12 12:27 PM
Boss of NY utility resigns due to Sandy response


The Long Island Power Authority boss Michael Hervey tendered his resignation, effective at the end of the year.




UNIONDALE, N.Y. — The chief operating officer of a utility company heavily criticized for its response to Superstorm Sandy is stepping down.

The Long Island Power Authority announced Tuesday that Michael Hervey had tendered his resignation, effective at the end of the year. Hervey has ...more
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Nov 14, 12 5:17 AM