The following was submitted by Acting Presiding Officer Norma L. Gonsalves, Legislator, District 13.
In the wake of the devastation left by Hurricane Sandy, residents throughout Nassau County continue to struggle without lights, heat and power to run their households. Traffic lights remain dark, gas supplies limited, and many of our businesses cannot serve their customers.
LIPA is a state agency. It is governed by a 15 member Board of Directors and is not under the jurisdiction of the County or any Town or Village. My office has diligently reported outages and demanded updates, but LIPA’s response even to Nassau County’s elected officials has been awful.
I, like you, believe the Long Island Power Authority (“LIPA”) has ineffectively managed power restoration efforts to our residents and businesses. I have also found the response to our state and federal officials to be similarly ineffective.
And like you, though I have been in constant contact with LIPA officials in my capacity as your Legislator, I am not assured that all that can be done is being done to get the power back on for those that remain in the dark. My office has been informed that LIPA has secured additional manpower and resources from out of state to assist in their recovery and restoration efforts.
Though these resources come nearly 12 days after this tragic storm, they are welcome.
Rest assured, once this immediate emergency is passed, this Legislature will seek answers from LIPA and our state and federal officials as to why the response to Hurricane Sandy was so poorly executed. We will also demand answers as to what is being done to prepare for future emergencies.
My office will do whatever it can to help you. However, I urge all of you to contact Governor Cuomo's office at (212) 681-4580 and demand that he hold LIPA accountable and use every tool at his disposal as Governor of New York to get people the help they need.