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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.

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
V
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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