Following the Superstorm Sandy debacle, in which tens of thousands of Long Islanders were stranded without power, Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) has been replaced by Public Service Electric and Gas (PSEG).
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a law restricting Long Island utility operations, according to MyFoxAustin. “The legislation that was signed into law today ends the LIPA as we know it, and creates a new utility system that puts Long Island ratepayers first,” Cuomo said. “LIPA has offered lackluster service for too long and after its failure to perform during Superstorm Sandy it was clear we needed a change,” the governor added, according to MyFoxAustin.
PSEG will be placed in charge of daily operations, effective January 1, 2014 and the current rate will also be frozen through 2016 based on the law Governor Cuomo just signed. Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano were pleased with the measure, MyFoxAustin reported.
Superstorm Sandy left tens of thousand of Long Islanders without power, many for weeks. And, while outages should be expected in future storms, Cuomo said, response times and maintenance will improve, according to MyFoxAustin.
Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc up and down the Eastern seaboard. Billions of dollars in property damage were recorded and Long Island and Manhattan sustained severe damage from strong winds, heavy rains, and storm surges. Sandy made landfall on October 29 in southern New Jersey and northern Delaware as a Category 1 hurricane, a part of the country not normally affected by direct hurricane landfalls.
Even before Sandy made landfall, its torrential rains and strong winds combined to create record storm surges that helped batter the coastline initially, knocking out electricity for millions. The storm eventually “morphed” into a Nor’easter, which locals are more accustomed to occurring on an almost annual basis, but not to the scale of this storm, hence earning the name “Superstorm Sandy.”
Many criticized LIPA for not moving swiftly to return power to the hundreds of thousands of Long Islanders crippled by Superstorm Sandy. In fact, many remained without power for weeks after the storm left the eastern seaboard.
Billions of dollars in losses were reported due to the damage and destruction of thousands of homes and structures on Long Island, as well as prolonged power outages throughout the region. Complaints include that LIPA and/or National Grid neglected to properly prepare for the storm, warn their customers, establish a proper emergency management system, maintain power distribution equipment, or provide adequate service.