ALBANY, N.Y. /New York Netwire/ — NY Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that a comprehensive effort to secure additional utility crews to assist power restoration on Long Island has resulted in 1,969 personnel being sent to Long Island to assist LIPA and National Grid in their restoration effort. The effort will continue and more crews will be deployed as they become available. In addition, Governor Cuomo has directed Garry Brown, chairman of the Public Service Commission, to monitor the power restoration and communications efforts on Long Island, and ensure LIPA’s efforts are coordinated with state assistance.
Over 1,200 of the personnel are being re-deployed by National Grid’s Upstate operations, as they have largely restored power to their Upstate customers at this time, and LIPA has secured hundreds of additional personnel from outside crews. In addition, over 300 transmission linemen and equipment operators from public power companies have been assembled by the New York Power Authority (NYPA) at the direction of the Governor as part of a new Public Power Assistance Team. This Team will also provide equipment and supplies to assist LIPA and National Grid in the power restoration efforts on the Island.
The crews supporting LIPA are coming from Iowa, Texas, North Carolina, Alabama, Wisconsin, California, Tennessee, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Florida, and Indiana. Included in the Public Power Assistance Team are transmission line crews from three upstate NYPA facilities, which are expected to arrive in Bethpage this afternoon for assignment to outage-stricken areas. The Team also includes assistance from other public power systems, from upstate and other parts of the country, with transmission linemen, tree trimmers and other utility workers traveling to Long Island from as far away as Seattle, Wash.
“Hurricane Sandy hit Long Island and the New York metro area particularly hard, and we must direct our resources to where they are needed the most and can help the most people,” Governor Cuomo said. “The Public Power Assistance Team will bring line crews from upstate and other parts of the country to downstate communities still in the dark, so we can restore power to affected homes and businesses as soon as possible. I want to extend my thanks to all of the crews who are putting themselves in harm’s way to restore power as quickly as possible.”
The Municipal Electric Utilities Association (MEUA) of New York State and the New York Association of Public Power (NYAPP) is dispatching transmission crews from various upstate public power systems, at NYPA’s request. Among the out-of-state public power utilities dispatching line crews to Long Island are Seattle City Light, North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives, Fayetteville Public Utilities, Orlando Utilities Commission, the Tennessee Valley Public Power Association, Florida Municipal Power Agency, Santee Cooper, Lafayette Utilities System, and Homestead Energy Services.
“Under Governor Cuomo’s direction, our transmission crews were on alert before the hurricane to be dispatched, if called upon, to areas around the state experiencing power outages,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and chief executive officer. “Given the enormity of the emergency on Long Island and the wide-scale power outages, we’ve asked upstate public power utilities and those in other parts of the country to send transmission line crews and other utility workers as part of the outside assistance being coordinated by the Governor for restoring power to the Island. The New York Power Authority is also establishing a special team of engineers and other professionals to support LIPA and National Grid.”
In addition to transmission line crews from its upstate facilities, NYPA is making available senior engineers, project and construction managers and environmental health and safety experts to assist LIPA and National Grid. It is also making available other technical personnel with expertise in assessing damage to substations and transmission feeders.
The NYPA linemen, who specialize in high-voltage transmission, are from the statewide public power utility’s Frederick R. Clark Energy Center in Marcy, near Utica; St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt Power Project in Massena; and Blenheim-Gilboa Pumped Storage Power Project in the northern Catskills. The transmission crews are comprised of linemen, heavy-duty equipment operators and supervisors. The resources include truck-mounted aerial lift equipment for repairing overhead lines and transmission derricks for digging holes, setting poles and lifting tasks.