23 Aug 2014
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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.

LIPA Puts National Grid in Charge of Storm Response

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.

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