LIPA: Some may be without power for a week

VERA CHINESE PHOTO | Downed trees and utility poles mean power might not be restored to all customers for a week.

There’s good news and bad news from the Long Island Power Authority on work to restore power to the hundreds of thousands of Long Islanders still without electricity thanks to Irene, the hurricane that became a tropical storm just before it hit over the weekend.

First the good news. The authority said it expects to restore 90 percent of all outages by Friday. The bad news is the other 10 percent may be powerless until next weekend or longer.

At Irene’s peak, over a half million LIPA customers were without power. By Monday that number dropped to just under 370,000.

The company is facing its biggest cleanup since Hurricane Gloria struck the island in 1985.

At a press conference Monday afternoon in Brookhaven, state Senator Ken LaValle (R-Port Jefferson) was highly critical of LIPA’s performance since the storm struck.

“LIPA gets an ‘F,'” said Mr. LaValle, who also represents Riverhead and the rest of the North Fork.  “I spoke with all five East End supervisors and the number one issue right now is LIPA. The supervisors all said [their towns] are not being served.”

As of Monday 10,000 of Southold’s 14,693 LIPA customers remained without power.

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