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Governor: LIPA Failed, Was Unprepared

Editor’s Note: This article was written and submitted by Henry Powderly.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday had a few harsh words for the power authorities: You failed.

Cuomo, in a press briefing, called the Long Island Power Authority and other New York power utilities in general "archaic" and "unprepared" for the lashing Hurricane Sandy and winter storm Athena gave the Long Island and New York metropolitan area.

"This is a 1950s system with these utilities that are regulated by the the state, but they are bureaucracies that are in many ways a monopoly," Cuomo said, adding that "it's a system that just doesn't work for New York in an emergency crisis situation."

The governor's drubbing of the utilities came as Long Island's power outages jumped above 220,000 following Wednesday's nor'easter.

Public anger over the power company's recovery efforts has hit new highs as many are in their 11th day without power.

"It is getting worse because people's suffering is worse," Cuomo said.

LIPA has also seen backlash for its limited communications with the public and inaccuracies in its outage map, prompting the power authority to replace it with a far less detailed map this week.
The company, on its website, acknowledged the nor'easter set the recovery effort back, but tried to assure locals that they are working their hardest to restore the power.

But for Cuomo, none of that is good enough.

"The management has failed the consumers," he said. "This is what they get paid to do. We paid them and we gave them a franchise because they represented themselves as experts at doing this," Cuomo said.

Management failures aside, Cuomo also said the utilities have faced supply shortages, specifically when it came to utility poles.

"They ran ... out ... of ... poles," he said. "How can you run out of poles?"

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