LIPA Puts National Grid in Charge of Storm Response

As blizzard and flood warnings put the region on alert, the utility takes a supporting role.

As a major blizzard threatens to pummel Long Island with snow, floods and heavy winds, an already weakened Long Island Power Authority put National Grid in charge of the storm response.

The move represents the first time LIPA has handed over authority, according to Newsday.

According to Grid spokeswoman Wendy Ladd, extra line crews are tree trimmers are already being secured to respond to the blizzard, which could knock out power to 100,000 customers on Long Island. Grid added that materials such as wires, transformers and restoration equipment have been pre-stocked at strategic locations across the region.

The announcement may come as good news to locals, as public support of LIPA has eroded after its handling of Hurricane Sandy, and the nearly 1 million power outages that storm caused.

"This type of weather has the potential to cause widespread damage across Long Island and result in a significant number of potentially prolonged electrical outages," Grid said in a statement.

The power company said they would continue to closely monitor the storm as it approaches.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Tuesday afternoon said he will activate the state's Emergency Operations Center at noon Friday to watch the storm and coordinate response efforts.

"I urge New Yorkers to closely watch local news reports for weather updates and adjust their travel plans accordingly, including avoiding non-essential travel during and directly after the storm since roads will be icy with blizzard conditions in some places.”

The National Weather service issued a blizzard warning Tuesday afternoon, alerting locals that snowfall of 10 inches to 15 inches, with higher amounts totaling 16 inches to 18 inches in some spots, could hit the region. The nor'easter, named Nemo, could also bring winds of 30 miles per hour to 40 miles per hour with gusts hitting 60 miles per hour.

The New York State Department of Transportation said it has more than 1,270 plow trucks and 1,582 drivers standing by to pre-treat roadways with salt brine in advance of the storm and clear snow and ice. NYSDOT also has 366,500 tons of road salt on hand.

Editor Jennifer Sloat contributed to this report.

Karin Immerman February 08, 2013 at 11:08 AM
Typical covering their behinds before anything happens.
chefcristo February 08, 2013 at 11:58 AM
i'd "give up" my pay too if i could retire with a $2-300,000/year pension. the upper mgmt. folks are like lemmings, jumping off the cliff (when things get tough, of course!) they bail out when the proverbial poo hits the fan. in retrospect, were they doing their jobs and taking responsibility in the first place anyway? i think not. they might even have been in aruba, or capri enjoying some of their ill-deserved perks at "international meetings" of top executives, with their significant others, of course.
Simba February 08, 2013 at 02:30 PM
So these SOB's have the nerve to say 100,000 LIer's face a power outage ??? What the Hell did they do after Sandy, What the hell are our rates paying for, Highest in the nation. We are just a bunch DA's to keep paying the bill and lining their pockets. If 100,000 people lose power this weekend, I don't want to here any more political posturing from Cuomo.
Mels Ditties February 08, 2013 at 02:36 PM
Throwing in the towel before the 1st round bell even rings?...Way to go LIPA!!! Sign spotted at a LIPA office: "When the going gets tough...RUUUUUUUUUNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!"
John K Massaro February 08, 2013 at 02:44 PM
Can somebody translate this into non-babbling English?
* February 08, 2013 at 02:45 PM
Man The Crow’s Nest “batten down the hatches" Take A Wide Berth Ride Out The Storm Nemo Blizzard! Have LIPA MGT. WALK THE PLANK!
John K Massaro February 08, 2013 at 02:46 PM
You people make me laugh! PUBLIC - "Lipa can't get the job done!" LIPA - "Well then, we'll give the job to someone else" PUBLIC - "How dare Lipa not try to get the job done?"
Stevo February 08, 2013 at 02:54 PM
Uh Oh!! Christie Nicolle is blabbering again.
Jim February 08, 2013 at 03:09 PM
We interrupt this gibberish for an important news flash: KIDS, DON'T DO DRUGS!
Tom Gillen February 08, 2013 at 04:00 PM
I wish we didn't 'Nemo' and just call it what it is....a snow storm. The NWS does not name winter storms, I don't know who came up with this name for the storm but it is pretty silly.....just sayin'
Mels Ditties February 08, 2013 at 04:15 PM
John K. You people make me laugh! PUBLIC - "Lipa can't get the job done!" LIPA - "LOL!...We can't be updating our equipment, we need that money to pay our inflated salaries & humongous pensions!...As long as the printer for our bills is working, all is good!" LIPA..."Oh crap, another storm and we're gonna have outages all over the place....we haven't done squat to prevent outages since Sandy and WE are gonna get blamed AGAIN!"..."WTH are we gonna do?...Oh wait, this is an easy one, we'll pass the buck to someone else"..."Whew, that was a close one!" I pay LIPA a fortune between my home & businesses...Is it too much to ask that THEY do THEIR job?...
John K Massaro February 08, 2013 at 04:39 PM
The National Weather Service said they were going to start naming winter storms to "raise awareness". I think I'm pretty aware of it when I'm out there shoveling...
John K Massaro February 08, 2013 at 04:45 PM
Exactly what can LIPA do to PREVENT outages? I'm not sticking up for Lipa in no way, I think they suck. But come on. You can't blame Lipa for snow. You can't blame Lipa for power outages in a storm. You can only blame them for their response. But you've already got their heads in the stock. I think what Lipa is doing is saying "We can't handle this, so let's give it to someone who can". Smart move. If they didn't & tried to handle it themselves, knowing full-well they couldn't, you'd all be crying & asking why they didn't hand it off to Nat Grid in the first place...
Preliator February 08, 2013 at 05:03 PM
Tom Gillen February 08, 2013 at 05:05 PM
Nah it's just a cute little name that The Weather Channel used. National Weather Service doesn't name this type of stuff. I'm gonna call this storm Ralph. Rowwwlf!
TheGreek February 08, 2013 at 05:10 PM
No, it is the morons at The Weather Channel who are naming every little storm. NOAA is not doing that.
Lipa Oversight February 08, 2013 at 05:14 PM
The Governor is backed in a corner with “asking” National Grid to take the leadership role in coordinating storm preparedness. LIPA has not had a CEO in over three years, most of the LIPA Board of Trustees has quit, the COO has resigned in addition to the Vice President of Customer Relations, this on top of the fact there is absolutely no moral left with the rest of the organization. Additionally, and most importantly absolutely NOTHING has changed structurally with LIPA since Sandy and on top of all that the Governor suggests that LIPA should be privatized....It appears the Governor is way over his head and has no idea on what to do other than to beg National Grid to help....pretty sad….
Simba February 08, 2013 at 05:20 PM
You ca blame them for not making improvements, let's start there. How many poles have the replaced prior to Sandy ???, the poles they use have a lifespan, they need to be replaced or they cannot be considered secure, Did they ??? you know the answer, NEVER. So yes they can't change the weather but they could at least keep the equipment up to date.
John K Massaro February 08, 2013 at 06:50 PM
I stand corrected. But I DID hear them saying they named it to "raise awareness", which I find comical...
John K Massaro February 08, 2013 at 06:55 PM
Lol Tom! Reminds me of the movie "Armageddon" when the astronomist discovers the asteroid : "The person that finds her gets to name her right? I wanna name her Dottie after my wife. She's also a vicious life-sucking b*!@# from which there is no escape!"
Ralebird February 08, 2013 at 11:41 PM
I would guess, Mr. Massaro, that if your power is taken out by a tree branch falling on the wires in front of your house because it has never been trimmed away from those lines you may get a revelation about what LIPA can - and should - do to PREVENT outages. You may also feel like blaming them if the repair crew takes a week to show up and then does not have the necessary replacement parts on hand. And if LIPA is indeed saying they can't handle the problems connected with storms, perhaps they could have set up their resignation at a more opportune time with a transition plan in place. But that's just me using business sense and logic.
Big_E February 09, 2013 at 01:37 AM
John, after Sandy their people were walking around with clipboards, maps, and highlighters to track outages. Really? In 2012 they didn't have an ipad and an app for that? We have to call THEM to tell them we lost power? The NYC subway system is over 100 years old, and they have a big board that can track every train in the system. But LIPA doesn't know we lost power. What about burying the lines? That's something they can do. How about declare bankruptcy so we can start over, and not be saddled with the same debt from 30 years of mismanagement?
John K Massaro February 09, 2013 at 04:45 AM
All the more reason for them to turn it over to Nat Grid in this case. It's apparant they can't handle it...
Ralebird February 09, 2013 at 05:42 AM
Why the sudden change in viewpoint Massaro, are your lights flickering?
KP February 09, 2013 at 12:28 PM
So, when the rates quadruple, because all the poles are getting replaced, and the lines are being buried, which costs millions, you people won't complain? How about when the streets are ripped up to do this burying - every street on Long Island, from side streets to highways - for years and years, you people won't complain? I can only imagine the comments during that fiasco! Be careful what you wish for!
Marilyn February 09, 2013 at 12:42 PM
Wendy Ladd stated that extra crews are available to trim trees. This gave me a good laugh. I have trees that hang directly over the power lines & I ask every year when I am eligible for the trim a tree program. They keep telling me next year. I have contacted every reliable tree service & either they do not want to do it or they want to charge us a ridiculously high price! Would you pay $10,000.00 to have a tree trimmed????? Maybe I should contact Wendy Ladd & ask her for the money.
John Gruber February 09, 2013 at 03:41 PM
Smart move by LIPA. If $h!t hits the fan they can just point the finger. But since problem isn't just the people but also the overall structure of the company, NatGrid can only do so much better
Simba February 09, 2013 at 05:28 PM
KP, the point is do you firmly believe they are using our money, the highest rates in the nation and making any improvements. Why do our rates eclipse other states by a large percentage ? What major improvements have they made in the last 20 years to balance the demand. So we should just let them take our money to fund their bonuses and pensions and let the pole break. Thats Apathy for ya.
Just saying February 12, 2013 at 05:09 AM
CCOP February 16, 2013 at 09:45 AM
It's funny how people complain here when you were the same people complaining about LILCO. You got what you wanted.....politicians that have no clue about electric appointing political cronies to run the show. Now I'm hearing Suffolk County that should run the show... hmn.... more idiots. I'd go out and buy a generator soon if I were you.


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