LINDENHURST, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — “Inept” and “unprepared.” That was the finding by the powerful Moreland Commission following its investigation into the response by utility companies in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan spoke with disgruntled homeowners about the scathing power report.
Her emotions still raw, Amity village homeowner Carolyn Treibitz told McLogan she has a message for LIPA.
“Where are you for us today? We have spent enough time, energy, emotion, dealing with this,” Treibitz said.
Long Island South Shore residents, powerless for weeks, lashed out with intense criticism at LIPA’s woefully inept and unprepared response before, during and after Sandy, agreeing with the Moreland Commission report, which called the utility’s management dysfunctional and riddled with confusion, incompetence and a lack of accountability.
“Maybe the governor needs to get on them and make them go private, so they don’t get this public bailout from FEMA,” Lindenhurst homeowner Ray Velten said.
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Velten said he is all for privatization recommendations. He took a home video of his Lindenhurst Street as the waters rose. His neighborhood suffered a knockout punch, but LIPA’s woeful reaction was slow and arrogant.
“It’s highly questionable whether LIPA customers will ever regain confidence in LIPA,” Moreland co-chair Benjamin Lawsky said.
The Browns of Lindenhurst called LIPA a monopoly that should be penalized.
“The money we pay for this — out as long as we were — it’s very frustrating. We had to run after the trucks and flag them down,” Joann Brown said.
The Felicetti family said LIPA didn’t prepare or protect. It ran out of power poles, leaving them in the dark.
“Not a big fan of LIPA, not a big fan at all. Charge a lot of money. We were left here hanging,” Michael Felicetti said.
They complain LIPA was investing millions on risky research and pursuit of new power sources, instead of bringing its own transmission and distribution system up to snuff.
“They need competition. LIPA needs competition. That’s the bottom line,” Felicetti said.
Governor Andrew Cuomo said he thinks the problem is greater than LIPA. He said there’s very little utility oversight — public or private — because the “public service commission is fundamentally flawed and needs to be changed.”
LIPA said it is reviewing the report. By statute, the company exists to save ratepayers money. LIPA replaced the much-criticized LILCO in 1998.
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