Senator Fuschillo Participates in Public Hearing Examining Lipa’s Hurricane Irene Response

Photo caption: Senator Fuschillo (left) questions LIPA & National Grid officials about their poor performance following Hurricane Irene. He is joined by Senator Carl Marcellino (center) and Senator Ken LaValle (right). 

Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) today participated in a Senate public hearing where he questioned LIPA and National Grid officials about their response to Hurricane Irene, which left over 523,000 Long Islanders without power, some for over a week.  

"LIPA and National Grid failed miserably in their response to Hurricane Irene. Given the rates we pay, Long Islanders deserve far better service than what we got following the storm. The serious shortcomings in LIPA and National Grid’s response, including a glaring lack of communication with ratepayers, must be addressed going forward," said Senator Fuschillo, a member of the Senate's Energy & Telecommunications Committee.           

The hearing examined the flaws in LIPA and National Grid’s storm response, particularly their poor communication with residents, and solicited input about what corrective actions must be taken to ensure that they are better prepared for future situations. Senator Fuschillo participated in the hearing along with Senators Carl Marcellino, Owen Johnson, Ken LaValle, John Flanagan, and Jack Martins, as well as Assemblymen Dave McDonough and Ed Ra. 

            In addition, the hearing solicited testimony from local governmental officials, including Massapequa Park Village Mayor James Altadonna, about their thoughts on LIPA’s coordination efforts with municipalities. Others offering testimony included a small business owner affected by the power outage and a representative from IBEW Local 1049. 

At the hearing, Senator Fuschillo again called on LIPA’s Board of Trustees to submit a nomination for a new permanent CEO to the Senate Energy Committee, of which Senator Fuschillo is a member. Under the law, the Senate’s Energy Committee must approve the nominee for LIPA CEO before that nominee can be considered by the full Senate for confirmation.  LIPA has been without a permanent CEO for over a year.