Although it may not seem like it if you live along the north and south shores of Long Island, more than half of those who lost power during Hurricane Sandy have had their power restored and the gas shortage is coming to an end, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a news conference in Manhattan Saturday morning.
There are now 550,000 people on Long Island still without power, down from 1.2 million people without power originally. In the metropolitan area, Cuomo says there are less than 900,000 people who remain without power.
But while Cuomo called this “real progress,” he had some strong words for utility companies like LIPA here on Long Island.
“I’ve warned the utility companies repeatedly that we were going to monitor the utility companies’ performance,” he said. “The utility companies aren’t happy with my warnings and frankly, I don’t care.”
Cuomo said if utility companies were not prepared, the state will hold them accountable.
“People need their power back,” he said. “This isn’t just a power outage, this is a power outage in the wake of a storm.”
LIPA expects to have more than 700,000 customers restored by the end of the day on Sunday, Nov. 4.
By end of the day Wednesday, Nov. 7, 90 percent of all customers whose homes and businesses were affected by power outages should be restored, LIPA said Saturday morning. Additionally, those customers in the most severely damaged areas in and around Brookville, St. James and Port Jefferson should expect restoration in up to another week or more
Restoration efforts continue to give priority to critical health facilities, areas of public safety, schools, and key components of the electric system. Power has now been restored to all of the hospitals that are able to receive power. The substations that power Long Island’s electric system have also been restored.
“We know the service LIPA provides is vital to restoring normalcy to the lives of our customers and we take that responsibility very seriously,” said Michael Hervey, LIPA Chief Operating Officer. “LIPA and other outside crews are working around the clock, seven days a week, to restore service as safely and quickly as the situation allows, we continue to request and receive additional critical support resources, with personnel arriving each day.”
LIPA says there are approximately 8,000 people supporting the restoration effort including more than 3,800 high voltage and tree trim crews working on the LIPA system. More than 2,000 additional high voltage and tree trim crews are arriving Saturday.
Cuomo also told the public to not panic over gas shortages, that 8 million gallons of fuel has been delivered and over the next two days 28 million gallons will be delivered to our area.
“We did have a shortage in fuel delivery because the tankers were not delivering,” said Cuomo. “That situation has been remediated. Do not panic.”
The Port of New York was shut down to commercial shipping traffic, which includes petroleum supplies that affect New York City and Long Island, in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. That port has now been reopened.
“There are a number of factors that are causing gas shortages and massive lines at the pump, but one of the critical ones was simply a lack of supply, and today we’re announcing that has been addressed,” Schumer said on Thursday. “The port is open, the backlogged barges can begin to dock and gas and will begin to flow into New York again.”
Temporary fuel trucks have been deployed on Long Island and in New York City in the mean time in order to help provide gas to emergency vehicles and the general public.
The 5,000 gallon trucks were deployed on Friday morning and there are an additional 150,000 gallons of fuel available to restock the trucks. There is a 10 gallon limit per vehicle. Cars can fill up directly off of the trucks.
A truck will be at the Freeport Armory located at 63 Babylon Turnpike in Freeport.