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Bellone: The Lights are Back On in Suffolk County

Mon, Nov 12, 2012

News, Press-Releases, Suffolk

Suffolk County Executive Announces More than 99 Percent of Suffolk Residents Now Have Power

Working from the Western Suffolk LIPA operations center where he has been based for the past two days, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone tonight announced that as he promised in a press conference yesterday, power has been restored to more than 99 percent of Suffolk County residents.

County Executive Bellone made the announcement after personally speaking to managers at substations in Suffolk County to confirm that outages are now limited to scattered individual homes throughout the county which will be reconnected over the next several days as crews survey neighborhoods and receive calls reporting individual outages. For the past three days, County Executive Bellone communicating directly with substation managers throughout Suffolk County and personally visited many of those substations to determine the available resources and ensure that power is restored as quickly as possible to Suffolk residents.

On Friday, County Executive Bellone cut off communications with LIPA Headquarters and began communicating directly with substation managers who were directing the crews actually working to restore the power.

More than 30 county employees were dispatched to substations on Friday to establish contact and record information about outages and the number of high voltage line crews, tree trimming crews and surveyors
deployed at each location. After LIPA Headquarters ordered substation managers not to provide information, County Executive Bellone directed Suffolk County Police Officers to two substations to collect the information. Since that time, County Executive Bellone has visited LIPA Substations throughout the county and worked directly with managers at those locations.

“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,” said County Executive Bellone. “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 County. 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.”

County Executive Bellone, in coordination with Babylon Supervisor Rich Schaffer and Islip Supervisor Tom Croci, broke with LIPA as a result of the failed “inspection” process that would have left thousands of customers along the south shore without power for an indefinite period of time.

In response, an elected official, who wished to remain anonymous, scoffed at this press release, stating, “With so many folks still without  power, Bellone saying ‘lights are on in Suffolk’ is like Bush declaring ‘Mission Accomplished’ on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln.”

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