Bellone: 'The Lights Are Back On In Suffolk County'

Bellone said LIPA HQ ordered substation managers not to provide info; police, he said, collected the data.

After cutting off ties with Long Island Power Authority headquarters on Friday, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone announced Sunday that 99 percent of county residents have power again after being knocked out by Superstorm Sandy more than two weeks ago.

Bellone made the announcement after personally speaking to managers at substations across Suffolk County and said remaining outages are limited to scattered individual homes — which he said will be reconnected in the next few days, as crews canvass neighborhoods and receive calls reporting those homes still without power.

Since blasting LIPA Friday, Bellone has been communicating directly with Suffolk County substation managers and has visited many of those locations to assess the situation and determine available resources, with an eye toward getting power back for residents as soon as possible.

"Despite the massive failure of leadership at LIPA headquarters, we have restored power in Suffolk County, thanks to the dedicated men and women on the ground who have been working 16 to 18 hour days to get the job done," Bellone said.  "By working with the front line workers, we have expedited turning the lights on by making sure the resources needed to restore the power remain here in Suffolk

He added, "While I am deeply disappointed in LIPA's leadership, I have been overwhelmed as I have witnessed firsthand the dedication and commitment of the workers in the streets and in the substations as I have met and talked with them over the last several days and I want to thank them for their efforts on behalf of all county residents."

When Bellone began communicating directly with substation managers, who were directing the crews to restore power, more than 30 county employees were dispatched to substations to establish contact and record information about outages and the number of high voltage line crews, tree trimming crews and surveyors at each location.

Bellone also charged LIPA headquarters with ordering substation managers to not provide information to county crews. Suffolk County police officers, Bellone said, were directed to two substations to collect the information.

LIPA spokesman Mark Gross responded Monday morning. "Outage information is available to the County Executive and no request has been refused," he said. "The Executive is welcome at LIPA facilities at any time."

Bellone, as well as Babylon Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer and Islip Town Supervisor Tom Croci, said he broke ties with LIPA after a failed "inspection" process that would have left thousands of customers along the South Shore without power for an indefinite period of time.


BlackRock November 12, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Hey Big Stevie Cool- ever find the time to get out there and help someone or too busy looking for conspiracies behind every bush?
Kat November 13, 2012 at 02:26 AM
He is such a blow hard.
Ben Vitale November 13, 2012 at 03:35 AM
LIPA's biggest public relations problem is not having a proper software package to direct, document, and estimate the time until a team will arrive in a given neighborhood, to begin connecting customers. People would not have been violently angry if they had received accurate progress reports. A friend of mine writes this sort of software for a living; it is not like trying to put a man on Mars, it is doable! I am a computer programmer myself, in the area of robotics; my friend is a programmer in the area of data Management. It is absolutely a "piece of cake," to have the computer database calculate work crew arrival times, on the basis of a work template, and progress data. If LIPA had a system that would send out text message progress reports daily, to every customer; they would not have had the problems that they now have.
BK13 November 13, 2012 at 05:36 PM
Ben said it best. LIPA management appeared inept due to the archaic antiquated communication system. LIPA looked like an old "Who's On First" routine with Abbot and Costello. No one wanted their rates to go up so the upgrades never or slowly happened. It's a CATCH-22. Now the people will support whatever it takes not to have this happen again. Hopefully now LIPA will be state of the art and not a joke (not getting my hopes up). Lorraine De Angelis: I was in same boat, took 13+ days when everyone else around us was up. But I understood they were going to make decisions to help hundreds or thousands of people that could be more effective than helping the 10 homes in my neighborhood. It sucked, but I tried to understand. At least for the first 10 days or so...lol...
pbug56 November 13, 2012 at 07:19 PM
Other then his comments, did Bellone actually do anything? He's as much a political hack as those who run LIPA. Remember - it is the out of town crews that did the work, despite horrific dispatching and monitoring from LIPA.


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