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Letter: ‘What Kind of Game Does LIPA Play?’

It was a pleasant sunny morning, Wednesday, April 21. Then, at 11:25 a.m., the power went out. This was the seventh time my home in Manhasset has had power down in the past three months.

Upon telephone inquiry to LIPA, the automated response was that parts of Manhasset, Great Neck, Searingtown, and several other Long Island areas were without power. It was stated that power was expected to return at 1 p.m.

When power was not restored at that time, a second call to an actual person elicited further information. Power was now expected to return at 1:30 p.m.; the reason for the outrage was a damaged transformer, crews were out for the fix.

I ask, how can one transformer stop so much power delivery to so many areas at once? Power was returned a little after 1:30 p.m. At 4 p.m. we received an automated call from LIPA announcing that our power would be shut down at 11:18 a.m. for two to three hours for required maintenance work. This call was received well after the power was already shut down and obviously after the power was restored.

What kind of game does LIPA play? Was this an emergency, as the initial information related, or was it a planned outage with no prior contact to those who would be affected - individuals, businesses, etc. Who gives LIPA the right to just arbitrarily decide when they can shut off power? If this was a scheduled outage, why don’t they do it at 2 a.m. to 5 a.m. when substantially less people would be affected? And, if it was scheduded, why shouldn’t LIPA be obligated to notify customers in advance? If it wasn’t scheduled (as I presume the prior six outages weren’t), why is our power delivery system so fragile that it is so often down? Again, it is the customer who pays the bills who has no rights in this matter.

Paul Drezner