Public Hearing - September 22, 2011

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                                PUBLIC HEARING ON
                         "TROPICAL STORM IRENE" RESPONSE
       5      --------------------------------------------------

       6                       Nassau County Office Building
                               Legislative Hearing Room
       7                       1550 Franklin Ave.
                               Mineola, NY 11530
                               September 22, 2011
       9                       9:45 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

                      Senator Carl L. Marcellino
      12              Chair



      15             Senator John J. Flanagan

      16             Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr.

      17             Senator Owen H. Johnson

      18             Senator Kenneth P. LaValle

      19             Senator Jack M. Martins

                     Assemblyman David G. McDonough
                     Assemblyman Edward P. Ra




       1      SPEAKERS:                               PAGE QUESTIONS

       2      Michael D. Hervey                         17   37, 47
              Chief Operating Officer
       3      Long Island Power Authority

       4      John Bruckner                             17   37, 47
       5      Long Island Transmission & Distribution

       6      Craig J. Craft                            93       96
              OEM Acting Commissioner
       7      Edward P. Mangano (via written statement)
              County Manager
       8      Nassau County, New York

       9      Mark Weiss                               115      123
      10      Village of Hewlett Harbor

      11      James Altadonna                          127      134
      12      Village of Massapequa Park

      13      Mark Gelish                              137      146
      14      Mac's Steak House, Huntington, NY

      15      James Brown                              147      151
              Business Representative
      16      Robert Shand (via written statement)
              Business Manager
      17      IBEW Local 1049










       1             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Good morning.

       2             My name is State Senator Carl Marcellino.

       3             I am the chairman of the New York State

       4      Senate Committee on Investigations, Taxation --

       5      a dirty word -- and Government Operations.

       6             And, we're here for a hearing on the response

       7      and reaction to the "Tropical Storm Irene."

       8             Right now, I would like everyone, if you

       9      would, to stand, and join us in the Pledge of

      10      Allegiance.

      11             I pledge allegiance to the flag of the

      12      United States of America.  And to the Republic for

      13      which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible,

      14      with liberty and justice for all.

      15             Thank you.

      16             Just so everyone knows, this hearing is being

      17      simulcast on the Senate website, and we are -- it

      18      can be accessed by computer.  And, it will be

      19      posted, and can be reheard at a later date if you

      20      would like to.

      21             I am joined today by my colleagues:

      22             To my left, Senator Ken LaValle;

      23             To my right, Senator Chuck Fuschillo,

      24      Senator Jack Martins, Assemblyman David McDonough.

      25             And we have, Assemblyman Ra.  Good friend,


       1      and son of Joe.

       2             Ladies and gentlemen:  The purpose of this

       3      hearing is to investigate, what I consider to be the

       4      serious lack of planning and communication by LIPA,

       5      National Grid, in the wake of "Tropical Storm

       6      Irene."

       7             This hearing will examine their response to

       8      pre-storm plannings, their response time, customer

       9      communication, and what could be done to improve

      10      their system, of both communication and repair;

      11      both, communicating with the public, their

      12      customers, and, communicating with the crews, who,

      13      in my opinion -- and I think I share -- it's shared

      14      by all of my colleagues -- the crews did a heck of a

      15      job.

      16             They were out there in adverse conditions,

      17      and, in many cases, were risking their lives,

      18      working with active lines and power lines, and

      19      determining -- climbing up trees, and determining,

      20      what was good and what was bad, and, what was on and

      21      what was off.

      22             They did a heck of a job out there.  And, we

      23      congratulate them, we commend them, for their

      24      efforts.

      25             But, we do believe there was a lack of


       1      communication between central office and central

       2      systems, and the crews; and central office and

       3      central systems, and the customers.

       4             People were not getting adequate service.

       5      They're not getting adequate communications and an

       6      adequate response when they had questions.

       7             We could -- on August 28th, as we all know,

       8      the tropical storm -- and it was a tropical storm --

       9      "Irene" hit Long Island with winds around 60 miles

      10      per hour.

      11             The storm blew down trees, power lines,

      12      resulting in over 500,000 customers without power;

      13      households without power.

      14             It took LIPA and National Grid over

      15      seven days to fully restore all their customers, and

      16      with a majority waiting over four days for their

      17      electrical power.

      18             I would like the read to you from a portion

      19      of the mission statement that LIPA posts on its

      20      website, and it puts out in press releases.

      21             "Our mission is to provide highly reliable,

      22      economical electric service through our valued work

      23      force, with a commitment to superior customer

      24      service, accountability, and transparency in all of

      25      our operations while being recognized as a leader in


       1      the advancement of efficiency and renewable energy."

       2             They had a hurricane drill, which included --

       3      this comes from the 2010 news release, that was

       4      released in July, on July 14th.

       5             "This year's hurricane drill will include new

       6      operating procedures and an updated communications

       7      plan that LIPA has implemented as a part of feedback

       8      the utility received from the March nor'easter and

       9      last month's microburst storm that affected

      10      thousands of customers in the town of

      11      North Hempstead.

      12             "Highlights of the communication plan

      13      includes:  A special phone system that allows LIPA

      14      to call customers experiencing outages, to update

      15      them on their status; as well as, a dedicated phone

      16      line, where customers can leave their number for a

      17      callback from LIPA, to receive the latest

      18      information on the restoration status of their home

      19      or business.

      20             "Over the next few weeks, LIPA will also

      21      complete upgrades to its Storm Center website, that

      22      will provide better information, and will allow

      23      customers to report outages on-line rather than

      24      using a telephone."

      25             Down the road -- further down on their sheet:


       1             "To help minimize storm damage LIPA's

       2      electric system" -- "to LIPA's electric system, LIPA

       3      has an aggressive tree-trimming program throughout

       4      the year, to identify and trim tree limbs in

       5      rights-of-way and along the easements that could

       6      potentially cause outages during and after a storm."

       7             Next paragraph.

       8             "Immediately after the storm outages will

       9      be" -- "storm outages will be evidenced to LIPA via

      10      its commuter" -- "a computerized control system.

      11      LIPA's computer systems automatically detect

      12      neighborhood service interruptions, and begin the

      13      restoration process by alerting systems and

      14      operators of the outage."

      15             This was also in the 2009 release, and also

      16      in the 2008 releases.  And, in fact, the 2008 and

      17      2009 releases are identical in -- word-for-word.

      18             My first question to the gentleman who are

      19      here from LIPA and National Grid is, basically,

      20      this:  What the hell happened?

      21             My customers are outraged.

      22             They couldn't get through.

      23             And when they got through, they couldn't get

      24      answers.

      25             And when they got answers, they weren't


       1      accurate.

       2             The website was never updated in an effective

       3      way.  Most of the time, it wasn't updated.

       4             So, gentlemen, that is, basically, going to

       5      be my question:  What happened?  And why did this

       6      system, in my mind, and many of my constituents'

       7      mind, break down?

       8              Senator Fuschillo.

       9             SENATOR FUSCHILLO:  Thank you very much,

      10      Senator Marcellino.

      11             I too share the exact same sentiments and

      12      comments regarding the hurricane, having

      13      representing the south shore of, Nassau, and

      14      Suffolk County, the Jones Beach waterline.

      15             Now, my district, it appears was severely hit

      16      hard.  And we faced the same frustration that you

      17      and many of my colleagues up here did.

      18             Assemblyman McDonough and I share the same

      19      representative areas.

      20             And I think the biggest frustration was, the

      21      lack of information, the lack of coordination.

      22             We have a speaker that's going to testify

      23      here today from one of my villages, Mayor Altadonna,

      24      who is the mayor of Massapequa Park.

      25             90 percent of the residents in his village


       1      were without power, and he received no communication

       2      at all.

       3             Him and I were talking back and forth, and I

       4      finally had to go to the Governor's Office to get

       5      some answers.

       6             But, we experienced no coordination with

       7      LIPA, to the town of Hempstead, to the town of

       8      Oyster Bay.  And, that was echoed from the

       9      supervisors themselves.

      10             The County Executive did an admirable job.

      11      Was very visible in my district, bringing response

      12      crews in there as quickly as possible.

      13             But, we faced the same comments from the

      14      hundreds of e-mails and phone calls we faced during

      15      that day.

      16             One East Farmingdale resident wrote to me:

      17             "I called LIPA three times, and each time, I

      18      was assured I would be called back with further

      19      updates.  Never happened.

      20             "I finally received the computerized update

      21      call early Friday night, and they told me that my

      22      power would be restored by 9 p.m.  It was on 2 p.m.

      23      that day.

      24             "I went to a family who was without power for

      25      seven days, told me, every time they called LIPA,


       1      they received a different answer.  Sometimes they

       2      would tell them, that, "Hey, maybe the power's on

       3      already, I don't know.  Turn your lights on."

       4             You know, unexcuse -- inexcusable, insulting.

       5             The rate payers pay the highest utility rates

       6      in the country.

       7             Comments from Senator Flanagan's Office,

       8      were, that a LIPA truck, or a truck from Michigan,

       9      was driving down, and heard a generator running on a

      10      block.  And they stopped, by chance, to knock on the

      11      door.  And they said, "Our paperwork shows that you

      12      have power.  Why is your generator on?"

      13             And this was a common occurrence, comments

      14      to -- that Assemblyman McDonough and I faced from

      15      residents in North Merrick.

      16             One woman had -- was on oxygen.  Called LIPA.

      17             And LIPA said:  Well, look, we don't have any

      18      generators.  Maybe your fire department does.  If

      19      not, you know, maybe go to the hospital.

      20             Inexcusable.

      21             Inexcusable, at a time of emergency, and a

      22      time of crisis.

      23             I want to thank my colleague, the Chair of

      24      the Senate Investigations Committee,

      25      Senator Carl Marcellino, for holding this hearing.


       1             And we, hopefully, look for some answers.

       2             You know, LIPA just wasn't created yesterday.

       3      And it seems like the residents of, Nassau, and

       4      Suffolk County, were better prepared than the

       5      administration itself.

       6             So, I look forward to the responses, and the

       7      questions that will be posed today.

       8             Thank you, Senator.

       9             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Thank you, Senator.

      10             We've been joined by our colleagues,

      11      Senator Owen Johnson, and Senator LaValle.

      12             I'm sorry, and Senator John Flanagan.

      13             Senator LaValle.

      14             SENATOR LAVALLE:  Thank you.

      15             I'm just going to be very, very brief.

      16             Senator Marcellino said it all.

      17             Certainly, we thank the workers who were out

      18      there in very difficult circumstances.

      19             I think it was publicized, that, being a

      20      former teacher, I instinctively had to give you a

      21      grade, and I gave you an F.

      22             You should be thankful that Donald Trump is

      23      not the chairman of your board, because he would

      24      say, "You're fired."

      25             Thank you.


       1             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Senator Martins.

       2             SENATOR MARTINS:  Thank you.

       3             I'll echo the sentiments, obviously, the

       4      frustration, that I heard, and that my constituents,

       5      and I'm sure Assemblyman Ra's constituents, where we

       6      overlap, was, the lack of communication.  That there

       7      was no perspective.

       8             There were -- in many instances, in most

       9      instances, there was an inability to get through.

      10      And, certainly, when they were able to get through

      11      they were not able to have any kind of insight as to

      12      when the power would be restored.

      13             Things went wrong.  And I think we can all

      14      agree that things went wrong.

      15             And I would welcome this opportunity to

      16      revisit what went wrong, so that we can work

      17      together, in terms of coming up with alternatives

      18      and solutions so that we can get things right next

      19      time.

      20             I found that my office oftentimes became the

      21      recipient of a lot of the frustration -- I'm sure my

      22      colleagues share that -- because, we were answering

      23      our phones; we did have people who were receiving

      24      those calls.  And, we, in turn, were forwarding

      25      those calls and those sentiments and those concerns,


       1      and in cases where there were emergencies, as

       2      Senator Fuschillo just mentioned, getting answers,

       3      because people simply couldn't get through to LIPA.

       4             So, let's reevaluate how we do things, let's

       5      reevaluate how LIPA does things.

       6             Let's look at the fact, that, we do have

       7      tree-lined streets, and we love our tree-lined

       8      streets on Long Island.  And, we do have overhead

       9      lines.  But, there are things that can be done.

      10             And I think, you would agree, and certainly I

      11      understand, there are things that can done, to

      12      better coordinate, to avoid these kinds of pitfalls

      13      in the future.

      14             So, I'm looking forward to your testimony,

      15      and looking forward to the dialogue, in hopes of

      16      coming up with certain solutions.

      17             Thank you.

      18             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Thank you,

      19      Senator Martins.

      20             Senator Flanagan.

      21             SENATOR FLANAGAN:  Thank you very much,

      22      particularly to Senator Marcellino.

      23             Having heard the comments of my colleagues,

      24      I'll just join in support of the -- many of the

      25      comments that I've heard, but add a couple of other


       1      things.

       2             I think, we are representatives of our

       3      constituents.

       4             And, I know my own frustration, human nature

       5      being what it is, I can't stand when I have to go

       6      through automated menus when I'm trying to get

       7      somebody on the phone.

       8             And it's kind of ironic, because it's pretty

       9      easy to call LIPA on a day like today.  You have a

      10      question about a bill, you have something, it's

      11      relatively easy to get somebody on the phone.

      12             So, the fact that it became so difficult to

      13      do so during a time of, crisis, if you will, is

      14      something that is disconcerting to us as elected

      15      officials, and to the public.

      16             And, I don't say this in any selfish vein,

      17      but, part of the challenge we have, is that people

      18      don't think we're doing our jobs when we can't get

      19      answers, that we can go back to them.

      20             And, even if it's an answer that they don't

      21      like, getting a straight, honest answer is worth its

      22      weight in gold.

      23             So, I'm going to make one comment similar to

      24      Senator LaValle, and expand on it a little bit.

      25             The people who were out there, in the field,


       1      on the streets, working in those bucket-trucks, and

       2      doing all the hard work, and even the people in the

       3      call center, I think they did a fantastic job under

       4      very difficult conditions.

       5             And we should not lose sight of that.

       6             And I'm going to close with this comment:

       7             I find it disconcerting that many members of

       8      the public, despite their frustration, were taking

       9      it out on the people who were trying to make their

      10      lives better.

      11             I think we need to recognize, that, the

      12      linemen and the people who were out there, they're

      13      just trying to do their job.  And, at some point,

      14      getting, 16, 18 hours of overtime, it's just not

      15      worth it.

      16             So, I think, as the public, and a general

      17      constituency, we need to be more thoughtful about

      18      the people who are out there actually trying to

      19      restore the power.

      20             Thank you.

      21             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Thank you,

      22      Senator Flanagan.

      23             Senator Johnson has passed, and will listen.

      24             Assemblyman McDonough.

      25             ASSEMBLYMAN MCDONOUGH:  Thank you, Senator.


       1             I just would like to add to what has already

       2      been said, and not to delay it any longer.

       3             I'm looking forward to hearing the testimony,

       4      and mainly the answers to the questions that have

       5      already been raised.

       6             Senator Fuschillo has said what happened in

       7      our shared district.  And, I concur, that it's time

       8      to find out what has been done, and what will be

       9      done in the future.

      10             So, thank you, Senator, very much.

      11             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Assemblyman Ra.

      12             ASSEMBLYMAN RA:  Thank you, Senator.

      13             Just to echo what the Senators here have

      14      said, I would like to thank Senator Marcellino for

      15      including myself and Assemblyman McDonough in this

      16      hearing today.

      17             Me and Senator Martins do have major overlap

      18      to our districts, and I think he expressed the

      19      sentiment that we heard from our constituents who

      20      were calling our office, you know, all day long, in

      21      those days immediately following the hurricane.

      22             And we know, it's been said before:  They

      23      wanted information.  They wanted to have some idea

      24      as to what was going on.

      25             And, the information was all over the place,


       1      from, no information at all, to inaccurate

       2      information.  And, it became very frustrating, and

       3      very understandably so.

       4             And I would -- like as some of any Senate

       5      colleagues have said, it ended up, in a lot of

       6      cases, being taken out on workers that were out

       7      there in not the greatest conditions, and unsafe

       8      conditions, working hard to restore their power.

       9      And, you know, at times, that was very unfortunate

      10      to see.  But, these constituents from around our

      11      districts had no other place to turn.

      12             And that was really the most frustrating part

      13      for them, as it was for myself.

      14             So, I'm looking forward to hearing your

      15      comments on how we can -- what went wrong.  And,

      16      also, how we can improve on this system, to make

      17      sure that the response is better, and the

      18      information that is shared is better, next time we

      19      have to deal with something of this nature.

      20             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Thank you, Assemblyman.

      21             We've asked Mr. Hervey, and Mr. Bruckner

      22      from National Grid, to testify at the same time, so

      23      questions could be asked and answered of both of

      24      them.  This way, we wouldn't have to go back and

      25      forth, waiting for their testimony.


       1             We'll start with Mr. Hervey.

       2             MICHAEL HERVEY:  Thank you, Senator.

       3             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  I don't think your

       4      microphone is on.

       5             Is there a way to get him power?

       6                  [Laughter.]

       7                  No pun intended.

       8             MICHAEL HERVEY:  Is that better?

       9             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  I see nobody got it out

      10      there.

      11             MICHAEL HERVEY:  Hello?

      12             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Try the other one.

      13             MICHAEL HERVEY:  Good morning, Senator, and

      14      thank you.

      15             My name is Michael Hervey, and I'm the

      16      chief operating officer of the Long Island Power

      17      Authority.

      18             And I certainly welcome the opportunity to

      19      address you here today, and to clarify some issues,

      20      and explain some of the issues around storm

      21      restoration, and LIPA storm preparation and

      22      restoration efforts revolving around

      23      "Hurricane Irene."

      24             I hope that in doing so that you'll --

      25             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Let me just -- I'm sorry


       1      to interrupt, but let me just correct that, because

       2      it wasn't a hurricane.  It was downgraded to a

       3      tropical storm before it hit Long Island.

       4             And I'm not trying to pick hairs, I'm not

       5      trying to split hairs, but our -- it helps if we

       6      refer to it for what it was, for, not only this --

       7      purposes of this hearing, for the record, but for

       8      the insurance purposes.

       9             It was -- it's been declared by Mr. Lasky,

      10      the head of our financial services department, that

      11      it was a tropical storm, and the insurance company

      12      should treat it as such, not a hurricane.

      13             So, please.

      14             Thank you.

      15             MICHAEL HERVEY:  So, thank you.

      16             I accepted this invitation today, even though

      17      LIPA had a previously scheduled trustee meeting for

      18      the same day.  We did take the opportunity to move

      19      the trustee meeting back until a 12-noon start, but

      20      I very much appreciate the Committee's willingness

      21      to help work with the tight schedule today.

      22             "Irene" was the worst storm to hit

      23      Long Island in the last 26 years, since

      24      "Hurricane Gloria" in 1985, and the third-worst

      25      storm in recent history.


       1             "Irene" was not just a LIPA event, but rather

       2      an event that affected the entire Eastern Seaboard,

       3      and caused approximately 7 million customer outages

       4      in the U.S., from North Carolina to England --

       5      New England.

       6             "Irene" first hit Long Island on August 27th

       7      at approximately 5 p.m., bringing pounding rain and

       8      sustained winds of 40 miles an hour, up to 50 miles

       9      an hour, and gusts up over -- to over 80 miles an

      10      hour, over a 20-hour period.

      11             During those hours, dozens of communities

      12      were flooded, over 10,000 tree problems on the

      13      electrical system occurred, with uprooted and

      14      damaged trees causing, falling branches, toppled

      15      utility poles, downed power lines.  And, ultimately,

      16      523,000 --

      17             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Mike, I apologize for

      18      interrupting again, but that microphone is either

      19      low volume, and whoever controls it could raise it a

      20      little bit; or, if you could just move it forward, I

      21      would appreciate it, so that -- because we can

      22      barely hear you up here.  I can imagine the audience

      23      is not getting much.

      24             MICHAEL HERVEY:  "Irene" didn't leave us

      25      until August 28th, at approximately 2 p.m.  And it


       1      left a trail of destruction that spanned the

       2      118-mile length and 23-mile width of Long Island,

       3      including outages to approximately 48 percent of

       4      LIPA's customers.  This event impacted virtually

       5      every community on Long Island.

       6             As of September 2nd, on that particular date,

       7      there were accounted, approximately 6,000 different

       8      locations in need of various types of degrees of

       9      electrical repair.  That new number grew

      10      significantly over the post-storm period, and

      11      ultimately grew up to over 18,000 locations.

      12             Notwithstanding these staggering statistics,

      13      LIPA and National Grid restored power to more than

      14      93 percent of the 523,000 customers affected by the

      15      end of the day, Friday, September 2nd, and

      16      99 percent by the end of the day, Sunday,

      17      September 4th.

      18             On Monday, the 5th, all reported outages

      19      related to "Hurricane Irene" were restored.

      20             The effort related to restoring power, on

      21      average, to approximately 100,000 customers per day,

      22      for the first five days after this type of

      23      devastating event, can only be described as

      24      incredible.  And the tremendous amount of hard work

      25      done by the men and women of IBEW 1049, and all


       1      other workers who contributed to the restoration

       2      activities on Long Island in connection with

       3      "Irene," must be respected, and their efforts

       4      valued, and certainly appreciated, by all of us.

       5             We rely on their tireless efforts, on a daily

       6      basis, to restore our power, and, often, under very

       7      trying and dangerous conditions, as was acknowledge

       8      by the Senators, but never as much as after a

       9      devastating event like "Irene."

      10             We must remind ourselves, that, without them,

      11      the rest is not possible.

      12             I would also like to thank all of the other

      13      LIPA and National Grid employees, many of whom also

      14      went without power for several days, who worked

      15      endless extended shifts throughout the holiday

      16      weekend, and thereafter, to help to serve our

      17      customers.

      18             And, in fact, many of those are still working

      19      on storm repairs today.

      20             As you know, LIPA prepares for major storms

      21      and hurricanes all year round, which includes an

      22      annual drill, where LIPA and National Grid, plus

      23      county OEMs and others, participate in a hurricane

      24      exercise, broken down into three parts: preparation,

      25      restoration, and lessons learned.


       1             LIPA also uses "lessons learned" to improve

       2      on its response, not only from the events that

       3      affect Long Island, but from those that occur across

       4      the nation.

       5             Of note, was LIPA's reaction to the

       6      devastation caused several years ago by

       7      "Hurricane Katrina."

       8             After "Katrina," LIPA spent time with the

       9      utilities affected, and reviewed best practices

      10      relating to their transmission and distribution

      11      systems, and restoration efforts.

      12             Those lessons learned were incorporated into

      13      LIPA's Storm Emergency Response Policy, and the

      14      development of those policies as a common utility

      15      practice.  And our guidelines have been shared, and

      16      adopted by many other investor-owned utilities.

      17             LIPA and National Grid follow these emergency

      18      procedures, and tailored them to provide the level

      19      of preparedness and response necessary for a storm

      20      of "Irene's" magnitude.

      21             In addition, our guidelines encompass

      22      procedures and decision matrixes for Categories 1,

      23      2, and 3, and 4 hurricanes.

      24             These guidelines were also thoroughly

      25      reviewed and analyzed by the Board of Trustees'


       1      Operations Committee as part of their review for the

       2      preparation LIPA undertook regarding

       3      "Hurricane Earl" last year.

       4             For example:  LIPA and National Grid began to

       5      monitor "Hurricane Irene" before -- more than a week

       6      before it is expected to impact Long Island, and

       7      began to prepare, according to those procedures and

       8      nationally recognized weather forecasts.

       9             We closely monitored the storm's progress on

      10      an around-the-clock basis.  And once it was

      11      determined that "Irene" would hit Long Island

      12      directly, LIPA and National Grid engaged in the

      13      largest storm response deployment ever in LIPA's

      14      history.

      15             John Bruckner, president of Long Island

      16      Operations at National Grid, is here with me today,

      17      and he will be more able -- better able to more

      18      specifically address what steps were taken prior to

      19      the storm, as well as during and after.

      20             But, suffice it to say, preparing for this

      21      type of event is a massive undertaking.

      22             A few key aspects of that preparation

      23      included:

      24             Using pre-established decision matrix to

      25      secure off-Island crews and housing, and housing


       1      them here on Long Island;

       2             Coordinating efforts with state, city, and

       3      county, and local emergency management

       4      organizations;

       5             Restoration equipment, increasing

       6      inventories, and pre-stocking areas, such as, out on

       7      the East End, with wires, transformers, poles, and

       8      additional restoration equipment;

       9             Also, securing electric and gas personnel for

      10      extended 16-hour shifts, canceling vacations, and

      11      calling personnel back from vacations;

      12             And, adding call center personnel for

      13      support.

      14             In total, 1,725 restoration line workers and

      15      tree-trimmers were available to commence restoration

      16      once weather conditions made it safe to perform the

      17      work on August 28th.

      18             Prior to the onset of "Hurricane Irene," LIPA

      19      had put in a mutual-aid request for over

      20      2,500 off-Island contractors.

      21             However, we didn't receive all of those

      22      personnel due to a demand in the region for over

      23      6,000 mutual-aid linemen up and down the

      24      Eastern Seaboard.

      25             In addition, over 1,400 survey personnel were


       1      deployed, to assess and survey damage, which is a

       2      critical component to the restoration process.

       3             I note, that the staffing levels increased

       4      throughout the restoration, to approximately

       5      4,000 line workers and tree-trimmers, and more than

       6      7,500 people committed full-time to restoration

       7      efforts.

       8             Prior to the storm arriving, LIPA began

       9      communicating with customers, elected officials, and

      10      special-needs facilities, its employees, and others,

      11      about being prepared for "Hurricane Irene."

      12             LIPA communicated by means of e-mail blast,

      13      Web messaging, media interviews, newspaper

      14      advertisements, social-media outreach, including

      15      Facebook and Twitter, a letter to elected officials,

      16      and direct communications with the county executives

      17      and town supervisors in Nassau and Suffolk.

      18             Personal calls were made to each of our

      19      registered critical-care customers, letting them

      20      know that the storm could impact their service for

      21      multiple days, and that they should be prepared to

      22      make alternate plans to ensure their safety.

      23             Throughout the storm, while not as specific

      24      as anyone would want, LIPA's customer-communications

      25      and media-communications teams, in concert with


       1      operations, developed and implemented a proactive

       2      customer and media communications effort, to try to

       3      set up expectations of what full restoration would

       4      be, and that it would take several days, up to a

       5      week.

       6             To provide customers with as much information

       7      as possible, we also initiated more than

       8      800,000 outbound calls to customers.

       9             We had ongoing communications across the

      10      spectrum that far exceeded any previous

      11      communications effort.  And, we had messaging that

      12      was consistent across all communications channels.

      13             During restoration, LIPA and Grid coordinated

      14      with nearly 100 villages, 13 towns, 3 cities,

      15      2 counties, and approximately 70 state and county

      16      legislatures.

      17             In addition, before, during, and after

      18      "Hurricane Irene" passed, LIPA worked closely with

      19      the Nassau OEM and Suffolk FRES and various DPWs in

      20      what was the largest mobilization of forces enacted

      21      by LIPA and National Grid.

      22             Nevertheless, while we believe our

      23      preparation efforts were swift, strong, and on par

      24      with our fellow utilities, we also understand our

      25      customers' frustration with not having the type of


       1      access to restoration information that we always

       2      offer on a normal daily basis.

       3             In these times of always-present real-time

       4      communications, our electric system and our

       5      restoration plans simply cannot provide the

       6      necessary detail during these massive events.

       7             While LIPA's plan and capabilities are not

       8      unlike most other electric utilities, we certainly

       9      look forward to improving those channels of

      10      communications with our customers.

      11             Over the next few weeks, LIPA's crews will

      12      continue to assess the full scope of damage left by

      13      "Irene," and make the necessary repairs to bring

      14      transmission and distribution systems back to its

      15      normal operating mode.  And much of that work is

      16      ongoing to this date.

      17             In the meantime, LIPA and National Grid are

      18      undergoing a thorough review of the processes used

      19      during "Irene," both internally and externally.

      20             We need to analyze and understand what went

      21      right, such as the restoration of half a million

      22      customers in a one-week time frame; and what can be

      23      improved for the future, such as our communications

      24      information systems.

      25             To that end, we are engaging in several


       1      reviews.

       2             First of all, a thorough review by the LIPA

       3      Board of Trustees' Operations Committee;

       4             We'll also engage in an after-action review

       5      by LIPA staff of the entire events, and all the

       6      lessons learned;

       7             We will engage in a review by LIPA's

       8      Major Storm Review Panel, which is an independent

       9      expert panel of out-of-state utility executives,

      10      emergency managers, businessmen, and

      11      consumer advocates.

      12             We've already engaged in three productive

      13      workshops that were held with village mayors,

      14      city executives, town supervisors, and both county

      15      executives, who were all extended invitations, to

      16      offer recommendations to improve coordination, and

      17      ensure a uniform process of tree and debris removal

      18      across all municipalities.

      19             We have committed to having roundtables with

      20      the departments of public works, and similar

      21      operational departments in the towns and villages.

      22             We have also voluntarily committed to a

      23      review by the Department of Public Service,

      24      Public Service Commission, in conjunction with the

      25      review being conducted by all the other utilities in


       1      the state.

       2             We do have these types of appearances, such

       3      as, with the other Long Island major utilities

       4      before the Suffolk County Legislature Public Safety

       5      Committee.  And that is intended to brief the

       6      Committee on LIPA's storm preparation and

       7      restoration and response procedures, and go ahead

       8      and look at the other issues that we could address,

       9      jointly, with other utilities.

      10             And, of course, we'll have other forums, and

      11      take other invitations, as necessary.

      12             Over the next few weeks and months, LIPA and

      13      Grid, as I'm sure all entities, will work together

      14      to better coordinate and communicate to the public,

      15      and to each other, in an effort to bring the

      16      Island's electric, gas, and other essential

      17      infrastructure services back to their normal

      18      operating state, and prepare for the next

      19      significant weather event.

      20             I note, that, following FEMA reimbursement,

      21      which is expected to be at about 75 percent of the,

      22      approximately, $175 million total cost of

      23      restoration, the net impact of "Irene" to LIPA's

      24      customers is estimated to be about 44 million.

      25             "Irene" has not yet exhausted this year's


       1      storm budget; and, so, the cost of "Irene" will be

       2      factored into the budget process for 2012 in the

       3      ordinary course of business.

       4             Rest assured, however, that, like with all

       5      other non-discretionary costs, LIPA's goal is to

       6      mitigate any potential rate impact on its customers.

       7             I really believe that once all of the reviews

       8      have been undertaken and concluded, it will be clear

       9      that LIPA's preparation and response for "Irene" was

      10      reasonable, appropriate, and achieved the desired

      11      goal of restoring power to hundreds of thousands of

      12      its customers, swiftly, safely, and consistent with

      13      sound policies and procedures.

      14             And I'm equally confident, that, as with all

      15      undertakings of this magnitude, we will identify

      16      areas for improvement, and take all of those

      17      appropriate actions.

      18             I really just want to stop, and thank you for

      19      giving me the opportunity to testify, and address

      20      the current concerns raised by the Committee.

      21             LIPA is ready to provide additional

      22      information and support of my remarks here today,

      23      and if so desired.  And, remains available to

      24      address any follow-up questions that you may have

      25      related to these, and other issues going forward.


       1             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Thank you.

       2             Mr. Bruckner, I would just ask, that, as

       3      you testify, if you could, less read, and summarize,

       4      that would help, so we can expedite the questioning.

       5             JOHN BRUCKNER:  Can you hear me?

       6             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Yes.

       7             JOHN BRUCKNER:  Just to make sure it's clear.

       8             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  You've got to speak up a

       9      little bit.

      10             JOHN BRUCKNER:  Is this better?

      11             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  That's much better.

      12             JOHN BRUCKNER:  Okay, thank you.

      13             Chairman Marcellino, and distinguished

      14      members of the New York State Legislature, and all

      15      our elected representatives, and others in

      16      attendance:  My name is John Bruckner.  I am the

      17      president of Long Island Transmission and

      18      Distribution organization, and have approximately

      19      27 years of experience working for the utility on

      20      Long Island.

      21             In my capacity, I serve as the local single

      22      point of contact, accountable for all services that

      23      National Grid provides to LIPA and its Long Island

      24      customer base under the current management services

      25      agreement.


       1             I would like to start by thanking you all for

       2      taking the time to examine the restoration efforts

       3      of LIPA and National Grid, in response to "Irene"

       4      that recently caused severe damage to the electric

       5      system on Long Island, while impacting 7 million

       6      customers along the east coast of the U.S. and

       7      Upstate New York.

       8             I would also like to acknowledge

       9      Mr. Patrick Foye, from the -- Governor Cuomo's

      10      Office, who spent many days on Long Island working

      11      very closely with our team.

      12             As I reflect on the course of the events over

      13      the past few weeks, I cannot help but to feel a

      14      tremendous sense of pride.

      15             "Irene" was the biggest storm to hit

      16      Long Island since "Hurricane Gloria" in '85.  And in

      17      just over a week, we restored power to over

      18      523,000 customers affected.

      19             This is a true testament to the talent and

      20      dedication of the men and women at National Grid,

      21      LIPA, and Local 1049 that worked tirelessly to

      22      restore power under, often, very difficult

      23      conditions.

      24             At the same time, we recognize the

      25      frustration of LIPA's customers that lost power


       1      during the storm, and I thank them for their

       2      patience during the restoration process, and I trust

       3      their understanding of the significance of the

       4      event, and the resulting damage it brought to the

       5      electric system on Long Island.

       6             There will be always those who question and

       7      critique our storm response.

       8             As a practice, and reflective of our

       9      dedication to continuous improvement, we will

      10      routinely welcome input to improve upon our

      11      performance.

      12             Accordingly, we look forward to an honest and

      13      forthright assessment of our performance in the face

      14      of the difficult conditions that "Irene" brought.

      15             Responding to an event, such as "Irene," it

      16      is immense undertaking.  It takes much focus,

      17      coordination, and involves the execution of numerous

      18      activities.

      19             Many of these activities go very unnoticed by

      20      the public.

      21             To share some perspective, over the course of

      22      the week:

      23             We responded to over 18,000 damaged locations

      24      associated with the 523,000 customer outages;

      25             We secured and provided nightly lodging for


       1      over 3,500 off-Island personnel;

       2             And, we quickly established three temporary

       3      shelters with the Red Cross, at Suffolk Community

       4      College, Nassau Coliseum, Bay Shore High School, to

       5      bed over 2,500 line workers and tree-trim crews when

       6      hotel accommodations became scarce with the

       7      Labor Day weekend and the start of the U.S. Open and

       8      the Hampton Classic;

       9             We dispensed over 250,000 gallons of fuel at

      10      remote locations -- hotels, shelters, staging

      11      areas -- to refuel the trucks on the overnight, to

      12      prepare them for the morning activities;

      13             We established numerous material-handling

      14      sites and pre-staging areas across the Island,

      15      including using the runways at Brookhaven Airport

      16      and East Hampton Airports, as well as Bethpage State

      17      Park;

      18             We made over 800,000 outbound calls to

      19      customers;

      20             And, we assigned resources to towns and

      21      villages, to address wire-downs and road clearings,

      22      while trying to balance the demand for those

      23      resources with the restoration effort;

      24             And, we replaced over 900 poles,

      25      1,000 transformers, 80 switches, while installing


       1      over 1 million feet of wire and cable.

       2             Activities such as these involve much

       3      preparation and planning, and a tremendous amount of

       4      effort is spent each year to train and drill our

       5      employees for their roles in such events.

       6             National Grid employees serving LIPA, as well

       7      as National Grid employees from other business

       8      units, have a designated storm assignment in

       9      addition to their normal day job.

      10             This regional presence allows us to leverage

      11      other state and regional resources rapidly to come

      12      to LIPA's aid.

      13             During the course of the year, these

      14      employees participate in tabletop drills and

      15      emergency restoration field-training exercises that

      16      simulate actual events and provide the proper

      17      training to enable them to fulfill their roles

      18      during a storm.

      19             In the case of "Irene", nearly

      20      5,100 Long Island and Downstate New York National

      21      Grid employees took on such roles, with

      22      approximately, 4,000, or 80 percent, of these

      23      resources coming from areas outside our electric

      24      operations organization.

      25             In particular, these resources were


       1      supplied --

       2             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Mr. Bruckner, let me

       3      just interrupt you.

       4             JOHN BRUCKNER:  Sure.

       5             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  You're saying here, that

       6      you have had 5,100 Long Island and

       7      Downstate National Grid employees, plus,

       8      approximately 4,000 from outside agencies?

       9             You're talking, almost 9,000 people?

      10             JOHN BRUCKNER:  No sir.

      11             The 5,100 employees that are Long Island and

      12      Downstate National Grid employees, 4,000 of them, of

      13      those 5,100, is what I was referring to.

      14             4,000 of the 5,100 -- 80 percent of those

      15      resources -- come from areas at National Grid

      16      outside the electric business.

      17             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  So they weren't here?

      18             JOHN BRUCKNER:  No, they were here.

      19             They're here, specifically, in our gas

      20      business, our generation business, and our corporate

      21      services organizations, here, Long Island; and

      22      Downstate, in Brooklyn.

      23             So, we utilize the resources that are outside

      24      the electric business to support the storm

      25      activities during a major event.


       1             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Okay, I'm still trying

       2      to get a handle.

       3             You have 5,100 employees.

       4             You brought in, from out of state -- wait a

       5      second now.

       6             They brought in, from out of state -- you set

       7      up lodging for 3,500?

       8             How many actually got here from out of state?

       9             I know there was a call on them from other

      10      areas, but, how many?

      11             JOHN BRUCKNER:  Yeah, I mean, the people that

      12      we brought in from out of state, are line workers

      13      and tree-trim contractors.  That's different from

      14      these employees here.

      15             The 5,100 employees, are the employees that

      16      support the logistics.

      17             And, I'll get into that as I follow the

      18      testimony in the next few paragraphs.  It will talk

      19      about, the function, and the roles, that these

      20      5,100 played, which is different from the resources

      21      we brought in from out of state.

      22             The out-of-state resources were,

      23      predominantly, linemen and tree-trim contractors.

      24      And, that we had to provide bedding for those

      25      resources.


       1             The 5,100 employees that we have here on

       2      Long Island, and in Brooklyn, do not require a

       3      lodging.  They're here as employees, but they work

       4      in our other businesses --

       5             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Who do they work for?

       6             They work for, LIPA? National Grid? -- who?

       7             JOHN BRUCKNER:  They work for National Grid.

       8      They're National Grid employees.

       9             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  According to

      10      Mr. Hervey, we had 1,725 on-Island and off-Island

      11      people doing restoration.

      12             JOHN BRUCKNER:  I think --

      13             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  I'm just trying to get

      14      the numbers right --

      15             JOHN BRUCKNER:  Yeah, I think --

      16             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  -- because, I'm hearing

      17      numbers all over the place, and I'm not getting a

      18      clear picture.

      19             JOHN BRUCKNER:  -- the 7,500 employees that

      20      were -- or, workers that were working this

      21      restoration effort.

      22             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  How many of them

      23      actually work for National Grid?

      24             JOHN BRUCKNER:  5,100.

      25             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  How many of them work


       1      from LIPA?

       2             JOHN BRUCKNER:  I couldn't answer that

       3      question.

       4             MICHAEL HERVEY:  LIPA has, approximately,

       5      90 employees.

       6             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  So, LIPA has

       7      90 employees, totally; and National Grid has

       8      5,100 employees.

       9             So, basically, the responsibility for the

      10      response, was National Grid's, not LIPA's?

      11             Am I right?

      12             JOHN BRUCKNER:  The work effort was performed

      13      by National Grid employees.

      14             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  No, I didn't ask you

      15      that question.

      16             Whose responsibility is it?

      17             MICHAEL HERVEY:  Well, I think, clearly, this

      18      is -- you know, I think you're aware -- I know

      19      you're aware of the public-private partnership that

      20      we have.

      21             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Yeah, I'm aware of it.

      22      I was here.  I was in the Senate when LIPA was

      23      created.

      24             MICHAEL HERVEY:  So, LIPA owns the

      25      transmission distribution system.  LIPA approves the


       1      action that National Grid takes.  We -- it's

       2      underlying the LIPA procedures for doing this work.

       3      And then, ultimately, all of the work is carried out

       4      by National Grid employees.

       5             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  So, you were directing

       6      the traffic, and they were the traffic?

       7             Am I right?

       8             I just want to find out who's in charge here.

       9             MICHAEL HERVEY:  Well, yeah, so --

      10             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Who's the general?

      11      Who's the lieutenant?  Who's the private?

      12             MICHAEL HERVEY:  In the storm-restoration

      13      activity, for the lead on that activity, is,

      14      John Bruckner takes the lead in that

      15      storm-restoration activity, but it's under the

      16      direction of LIPA.

      17             So, the day-to-day direction of the

      18      National Grid work force comes from the

      19      National Grid lead, John Bruckner.

      20             And, the overall activity, of course, the

      21      public face of the restoration, is LIPA, you know,

      22      using the approvals that LIPA has given

      23      National Grid to execute.

      24             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Okay.  Thank you.

      25             JOHN BRUCKNER:  So, the work force that I was


       1      referencing, the 5,100 employees from our various

       2      businesses on Long Island and Downstate New York,

       3      they work as field damage assessors, low-voltage

       4      service crews, crew guides, and logistical support.

       5      They helped to effect a successful restoration

       6      effort.

       7             I'm extremely proud of the teamwork exhibited

       8      by the many organizations that contributed resources

       9      to this restoration team, and recognize that

      10      criticality to the restoration process.

      11             The absence of these employees would most

      12      certainly lead to a much longer and less-effective

      13      restoration effort.

      14             Preparation for the actual arrival of "Irene"

      15      began many days in advance of her making landfall on

      16      Long Island.

      17             Weather reports were closely monitored, and

      18      storm-preparation meetings were initiated several

      19      days in advance of the storm.

      20             During these meetings, and those which

      21      continued twice per day during the course of the

      22      event, tactical and strategic decisions were made.

      23             At LIPA's direction, requests for off-Island

      24      high-voltage linemen and tree-trim crews were also

      25      made.


       1             Simultaneously, efforts were launched to

       2      establish a crew processing center, and calls were

       3      made to the MTA bridges and tunnels, Department of

       4      Transportation, and local police departments, to

       5      expedite the receipt of off-Island crews as they

       6      traveled to Long Island to assist in the

       7      restoration.

       8             In accordance with LIPA's storm procedures,

       9      National Grid made contact with counterparts at

      10      Long Island Railroad, Verizon, Nassau, Suffolk, and

      11      New York City Offices of Emergency Management, to

      12      reinforce, and discuss, the coordination of

      13      activities, while outreach to elected officials and

      14      local municipalities were handled by LIPA.

      15             In addition, calls were made to the

      16      critical-care customers, to advise them of the

      17      impending storm, and encouraged them to take

      18      appropriate preparatory actions.

      19             Outreach to all large managed accounts was

      20      initiated, with an emphasis on hospitals,

      21      nursing homes, schools, and wastewater treatment

      22      facilities.

      23             Such communication was maintained throughout

      24      the course of the event.

      25             As a result of the preparation, we were ready


       1      to begin restoration efforts immediately after the

       2      storm had passed on Sunday afternoon, August 28th.

       3             We initiated detailed damage assessments of

       4      LIPA's transmission, substation, and distribution

       5      facilities, and began repairing the backbone of the

       6      electric system.

       7             Restoration efforts followed a structured

       8      restoration approach, such that the outages

       9      affecting the largest number of customers were

      10      restored.

      11             Priority was also given to restoring areas

      12      affecting public health and safety.

      13             As a result, neighborhood and single-customer

      14      outages were addressed later in the process, but by

      15      doing so, again, enabled the largest number of

      16      customers to be restored most quickly.

      17             Based on the anticipated damage from "Irene,"

      18      LIPA had requested 2,000 high-voltage linemen,

      19      through our utility mutual-assistance groups.

      20             However, given the widespread devastation of

      21      "Irene," and the resulting demand for the resources,

      22      LIPA only received 1,000 additional high-voltage

      23      linemen, and was forced to execute its restoration

      24      plan with only half of the resources for the first

      25      five days of the storm.


       1             In spite of this constraint, within 24 hours

       2      of the storm passing, 178,000, or 34 percent, of the

       3      LIPA customers were restored.

       4             Within two days, the majority, 283,000, or

       5      54 percent, were restored.

       6             And after three days, 358,000, or 70 percent,

       7      were restored.

       8             In addition, we successfully delivered on

       9      LIPA's commitments to have all hospitals restored on

      10      Tuesday, and all school outages completed well in

      11      advance of the start of the school year that was

      12      scheduled for early the following week.  And,

      13      90 percent of all customer outages were restored by

      14      Friday.

      15             On the evening of Thursday, September 1st,

      16      National Grid New York completed restoration

      17      activities in Upstate New York, and was able to

      18      provide over 1,100 high-voltage linemen to

      19      Long Island to assist LIPA's restoration effort.

      20             The addition of these National Grid

      21      Upstate New York linemen to Long Island greatly

      22      increased our ability to restore electric service to

      23      the remaining LIPA customers.  And, by Monday, all

      24      523,000 customer outages were restored.

      25             In the end, the restoration effort was quite


       1      impressive, and I cannot stress the significance of

       2      this accomplishment.

       3             History has shown the value of thorough

       4      preparation and execution of pre-established plans.

       5             In fact, our restoration response in the

       6      March nor'easter of 2010, that left over

       7      a quarter million LIPA customers without power,

       8      resulted in National Grid and LIPA receiving the

       9      prestigious Emergency Response Award from the

      10      Edison Electric Institute, for its efforts.

      11             As part of our after-action review for that

      12      event, we identified and adopted many lessons

      13      learned that made our already-effort much better.

      14             We continue to be committed to continuous

      15      improvement; and, thus, look to improve upon our

      16      performances as well in this event.

      17             In closing:  I cannot say enough about the

      18      commitment of our employees, the great working

      19      relationship we share with the IBEW Local 1049 and

      20      its leadership, and our partnership with the

      21      Long Island Power Authority.

      22             Working together, and capitalizing on the

      23      co-location of our electric, gas, and generation

      24      businesses on Long Island, as well as our access to

      25      additional resources from non-contiguous service


       1      territories in Upstate New York, we were able to

       2      quickly address the effects of a devastating storm,

       3      the likes of which have not been felt on Long Island

       4      for over 25 years.

       5             I want to thank you again for this

       6      opportunity to testify.

       7             And, I'm happy to address any questions at

       8      this time.

       9             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Thank you.

      10             Just a quick point.

      11             You've made -- and both of you have made

      12      reference to the communication between yourselves,

      13      LIPA and National Grid, and the various levels of

      14      government municipalities.

      15             Reading -- I'm not going to read the whole

      16      statement, because it's going to be read later from

      17      the county executive of Nassau County,

      18      Mr. Mangano.

      19             "The most glaring issue" -- I'm quoting from

      20      his statement, which we'll hear in its entirety

      21      later.

      22             "The most glaring issue, is the lack of

      23      communication between LIPA and its customers, and

      24      between LIPA and the local municipalities."

      25             Mr. Weiss, the mayor of the village of


       1      Hewlett Harbor, I believe, expresses pretty much the

       2      same in his statement -- he'll make it later -- that

       3      there was a lack of communication, and, it was poor.

       4             And Mayor Altadonna, from Massapequa Park,

       5      basically says -- and I'm not going to read the

       6      whole thing -- basically says the same thing:  There

       7      was a lack of communication between LIPA and its

       8      customers, and LIPA and the municipalities.

       9             Which basically flies in the face of what you

      10      gentlemen are saying here today; that there was this

      11      great communication system that was set up.

      12             And it was what I said earlier in my opening

      13      statement:  What happened?

      14             Put it the time way I put it:  What the hell

      15      happened?

      16             There seems to be a conflict, not only in the

      17      numbers you give us, but in the statement, that

      18      there was communication between the other levels of

      19      government.

      20             There's a conflict here.  You don't seem to

      21      recognize it.  They seem to state it.

      22             Now, how do we deal with this?

      23             MICHAEL HERVEY:  I don't think that it's not

      24      that we're recognizing it.

      25             On Tuesday, the day after the hurricane had


       1      passed, we, in fact, in our media briefings,

       2      acknowledged that the customers and the governments

       3      were asking for more communication.

       4             We implemented, at that point in time, a

       5      daily update newsletter to all the mayors in Suffolk

       6      and Nassau.  And also participated in mayors' phone

       7      calls, conference calls, that were sponsored by the

       8      county OEMs.

       9             As part of our work afterwards, when we had

      10      the forums that I spoke about, with the

      11      municipalities, this point did come out loud and

      12      clear also.

      13             So, part of what we're going to need to look

      14      at, in our resolution and our improvement process

      15      here, is how to really amp that up quite a bit

      16      larger than what we had been doing.

      17             And, we had several suggestions coming from

      18      the village mayors, when we spoke to them.  These

      19      are certainly doable things, and we'll put

      20      several -- we intend to put some of this into play

      21      very quickly.

      22             But, one of the things that also became

      23      glaring in our conversations with the mayors, is

      24      that, oftentimes, these mayors change over, every

      25      several years; every number of years.


       1             And, so, what we need to do is, more outreach

       2      up-front, to give them the expectations of what a

       3      restoration like this would look like.

       4             So, we're also going to commit to having

       5      training seminars or informational seminars of some

       6      sort, ahead of storms, on a regular basis, to give

       7      the mayors the information they need in advance,

       8      because, in many cases, they were seeing this as we

       9      were going.  We had a plan we were executing, but

      10      they were discovering it as we executed it.

      11             And we need to do a better job, one, of

      12      telling them up-front, what this looks like; and,

      13      two, then, doing daily, or maybe multiple times a

      14      day, communications directly to the mayors.

      15             SENATOR FUSCHILLO:  All right, thank you very

      16      much.

      17             And, John, you know, while both of you pat

      18      each other on the back, I think you guys failed

      19      miserably.  You know, you have 27 years of

      20      experience.

      21             Mike, I think you're over 30 years of

      22      experience.

      23             This is not new.  This is not on-the-job

      24      training.

      25             And, all I keep hearing is, assessment, and


       1      review; and assessment, and review.

       2             You failed.  Your operation, whatever you had

       3      in place, failed.

       4             And the task was enormous.  And nobody here

       5      questioned, the commitment, the work, of the people

       6      in the field, because they worked like crazy, and

       7      probably put up with a significant amount of abuse.

       8             But, Mike, you never came out till Tuesday

       9      afterwards.

      10             You even came to my district.  And, on

      11      Florence Avenue, and you guys had a great press

      12      conference, but everybody left, and nothing

      13      happened.  And the people didn't get the line

      14      cleared from the trees, from whoever was there,

      15      until two days later.  And the frustration grew and

      16      grew and grew.

      17             So let's stop patting each other on the back,

      18      and telling me about awards that were received for

      19      prior response, because it's ridiculous, that you

      20      come here and you talk about it.

      21             Judge your own performance.

      22             You know, this is real-time news.  People

      23      don't have to go and turn the TV on anymore to find

      24      the news.  It finds them.

      25             And for you not to come out to two days


       1      later, and start talking about this, is wrong.

       2             And for you to sit here, John, and pat

       3      yourself on the back, after 27 years of experience,

       4      is wrong, because, this was a failure as far as the

       5      residents of Long Island are concerned.

       6             I think, if they had better communication.

       7             If my mayor, sitting in this audience right

       8      now, was able to communicate with somebody about,

       9      when, or why, or what's going to happen in the

      10      village of Massapequa Park, when 90 percent -- "90

      11      percent" -- of the residents are out of power, and

      12      he doesn't have a clue, because nobody's telling him

      13      something.

      14             Or, e-mails that I received, like my

      15      colleagues received, where, people came out and

      16      assessed the same problem on the same block, for

      17      four times, and they were told the same thing:

      18      We'll be back.  We'll be back.

      19             And the only people that came back were the

      20      people that assessed it.

      21             And the lack of professionalism, in some

      22      cases, when the residents called your call center,

      23      was an absolute disgrace.

      24             And to keep saying, "We're going to evaluate

      25      and see what we did," is wrong.


       1             You know, my question is, always:  Where the

       2      hell is the board of trustees in LIPA, that you

       3      haven't had a permanent CEO for one year since

       4      Kevin Law left?

       5             And I know you're trying, Mike, and you've

       6      been there a long time.  And you probably didn't

       7      even want this job for over a year now.  But they

       8      failed their responsibilities.

       9             I sit on the Energy Committee in the Senate

      10      that's going to approve that person, or not.

      11             And I got to tell you, it better not be a

      12      political hack, because that's not going to fly with

      13      this panel right here.  It better be somebody that

      14      has utility experience, because I don't want this to

      15      ever happen again, where all we hear is:  We're

      16      going to review.  We're going to assess.  We're

      17      going to analyze.  We're going to communicate.

      18             That should have happened years ago.  You

      19      guys aren't in business the first day.  And,

      20      it's not/it shouldn't be on-the-job training.

      21             Mike, you said something here, "In these

      22      times of always-present real-time communication, our

      23      electric system and our restoration plans simply

      24      cannot provide the necessary details during this

      25      massive event."


       1             Why?

       2             MICHAEL HERVEY:  Well, I think --

       3             SENATOR FUSCHILLO:  I mean, we did, to the

       4      best of our ability.

       5             MICHAEL HERVEY:  Right, so, it's a good

       6      question.

       7             But I think, in some respects, any utility

       8      that goes through this type of effort is going to

       9      have a lot less detailed information when you're

      10      doing this type of massive restoration.

      11             So our challenge here is to really leapfrog

      12      where everybody else is, and put into place some

      13      more intelligence, computer systems, out in the

      14      field; whatever we have to do.

      15             And this is what we have to really think

      16      through, and do it the right way, in order to bring

      17      that data back.

      18             The electric system doesn't know that an

      19      individual home is out.  And it doesn't know that

      20      even a piece of a block is out, normally.

      21             We did rely on customer calls for that.

      22             So -- and, certainly, once we know, then --

      23      unless we send somebody out, we don't know what the

      24      trouble is.

      25             So, on a normal day, a restoration, like


       1      today, when we get a case of trouble, it's assumed

       2      that there's one piece of trouble.  We go out and

       3      fix it, and we can give a very good estimate on what

       4      it takes to fix that.

       5             In this type of damage, there might have to

       6      be, 30, 40 pieces of trouble that are repaired

       7      before we can get to that last customer down the

       8      line.

       9             So, pulling all that information together --

      10      the status of the crews; the length of time that

      11      each one of those jobs is going to take; what is in

      12      service and what's not in service, meaning,

      13      electrified, not electrified -- is something that

      14      there's just not an automated system in place right

      15      now to do.

      16             SENATOR FUSCHILLO:  Do you have a Reverse 911

      17      system?

      18             MICHAEL HERVEY:  We have an outbound-call

      19      system, yes.

      20             SENATOR FUSCHILLO:  And can you reach all the

      21      rate payers that serve?

      22             MICHAEL HERVEY:  Well, we can reach them, to

      23      the extent that they can be reached with the phone

      24      number that they've given us.

      25             And this is another outreach I think we need


       1      to do, and have already started, in fact; and

       2      that's, trying to get customers to give us

       3      additional phone numbers.  Because, in this -- also,

       4      in this day and age of the communications we have,

       5      oftentimes, if the electric's off, the particular

       6      phone that they've given us is off also.

       7             SENATOR FUSCHILLO:  Did you utilize the

       8      system?

       9             MICHAEL HERVEY:  Yes.  We made over

      10      800,000 outbound calls during the week.

      11             SENATOR FUSCHILLO:  Okay.  Thank you, Mike.

      12             Senator Martins.

      13             SENATOR MARTINS:  Thank you.

      14             Mike, you have 90 employees.

      15             John, 5,100?

      16             JOHN BRUCKNER:  National Grid has

      17      5,100 Downstate, yes.

      18             SENATOR MARTINS:  So, 5,100 employees that

      19      you have direct oversight of.

      20             Mike, you have 90.

      21             I've heard from you; John, haven't heard you

      22      from yet -- as to how these employees are deployed.

      23             And, frankly, I would like to hear more about

      24      that relationship.

      25             You know, we keep talking about National --


       1      LIPA.  And I'm hearing responses from you, Mike,

       2      but, I need someone to explain to me, how the

       3      employees, the service crews, were deployed.

       4             Who made the decisions to deploy them in that

       5      way?

       6             And let's start with that:  How are these

       7      crews deployed?

       8             JOHN BRUCKNER:  You want me to answer that?

       9             So, as the storm passed, because we couldn't

      10      do any repair or the dispatching of crews during the

      11      storm event, because the equipment, you know, it

      12      would be unsafe to put them out in bucket-trucks

      13      during the event.

      14             So, Sunday afternoon, Sunday evening, when

      15      the storm subsided, we immediately dispatched crews

      16      to the transmission facilities that were damaged.

      17             The transmission facilities, really, is the

      18      start of power getting to the customer.

      19             So, you have the transmission system on the

      20      Island that provides power to the substations, and

      21      the substations provide the power to the

      22      distribution facilities, and then, ultimately, at

      23      the end of the line, the customer service to the

      24      house.

      25             So --


       1             SENATOR MARTINS:  So, the crews are deployed

       2      to these facilities.

       3             As -- Mike, as you just testified, you don't

       4      know where these outages are until people start

       5      calling in.

       6             So, at some point, you have these crews at

       7      these facilities.

       8             How are they deployed there?  Are they

       9      deployed centrally or are they deployed locally?

      10             JOHN BRUCKNER:  So, in the case of a -- on a

      11      normal day, it's always done centrally.

      12             The centralized dispatch capability is

      13      limited to around, you know, maybe 100 or

      14      200 personnel that you could safely deploy, or

      15      dispatch, in a safe manner, and in an efficient

      16      manner.

      17             In an event like this, when we brought in

      18      2,000 linemen from off-Long Island, in addition to

      19      on the Island with our contractors and our in-house

      20      workforce, another, approximately 500, you couldn't

      21      dispatch that efficiently or safely from one

      22      location.

      23             So what we did in this event, according to

      24      LIPA's practices or procedures, we deployed them out

      25      into substations as many operations.


       1             So, we deployed many of these, this

       2      workforce, across the Island -- equally across the

       3      Island, and dispatched them directly out of

       4      substations.

       5             Not all of the linemen were put into

       6      substations.  Many of them were held back, and

       7      maintained that division-level capability of being

       8      dispatched.

       9             And we dispatched them to the

      10      transmission-system repairs first.  There was a

      11      significant amount of damage on the transmission

      12      system, so we had to get that back up and running

      13      before we could do the distributions.

      14             SENATOR MARTINS:  What was the single most

      15      difficult -- or, what was the single most common

      16      cause of the transmission failures?

      17             JOHN BRUCKNER:  I would say trees were the --

      18      was probably the leading on the transmission.

      19      Certainly on the distribution.

      20             SENATOR MARTINS:  I would think so.

      21             What was your effort to coordinate with our

      22      local municipalities, villages, supervisors, county,

      23      specifically?

      24             We have highway crews out there that are

      25      deployed on a local level, that understand the needs


       1      of their local communities.

       2             I've got 32 villages in my district.  I've

       3      got 32 mayors and 3 towns/3 supervisors that I

       4      represent.  And these highway departments in each

       5      one of these villages and in each one of those towns

       6      have the ability to deploy personnel as well.

       7             How did you coordinate with them?

       8             JOHN BRUCKNER:  To coordinate with the towns

       9      and villages, we went through the county EOCs.

      10             So, we worked through the county EOC.  We had

      11      representation at the county EOCs as well.  And many

      12      of those -- those towns and villages did help to

      13      clear roadway debris, as far as tree on roadways,

      14      and so forth.

      15             The work that the trees had on the

      16      transmission system, we were required to use

      17      qualified -- electric-qualified tree-trimmers that

      18      we put back into those right-of-ways, and so forth.

      19             SENATOR MARTINS:  I had the privilege, for

      20      eight years, to serve as a local village mayor.

      21             And one of my, I guess, concerns over the

      22      years, was always, whenever we had a storm, the

      23      availability of a LIPA crew to deenergize a line so

      24      that our highway crews can actually take those trees

      25      down.  In the right-of-way, they were prepared to do


       1      so.

       2             And, there was a common complaint that I got

       3      this year, from every village, from every

       4      municipality, was that:  There wasn't a LIPA truck

       5      or a National Grid crew to be found in their areas.

       6      And there was no coordinated effort.  And there was

       7      no way for our mayors, who had crews on the ground

       8      to be able to remove trees, to be able to reach out

       9      to anyone to coordinate.

      10             How do we fix that?

      11             JOHN BRUCKNER:  Yeah, I think that that's

      12      a -- that's an excellent example of an opportunity

      13      for going forward.

      14             The -- in this event, we did assign resources

      15      to the county EOCs.

      16             And I want to state back onto your point,

      17      because, it's not so much the transmission system.

      18      This is, road clearing, wires tangled up in the

      19      trees on the road.  And, not only giving us the

      20      ability to get repair crews in there, but also for

      21      your constituents to get in and out of their

      22      communities.

      23             So I think, in this example here, that we

      24      had -- and, you know, certainly in your area as

      25      well, we did assign personnel to the EOCs.  And we


       1      did work directly, in many cases, with towns and

       2      villages.

       3             The challenge that we had here, was having

       4      half of the available work force that we needed to

       5      do this event.

       6             So, while we were trying to, and we did in

       7      many cases, work directly with the towns and

       8      villages, assigning, not only people to identify the

       9      wires, and be able to clear the wires, so we could

      10      advantage of the resources that the towns and

      11      villages had to do the tree removal, we did do that.

      12      But the magnitude of the wire-down locations was in

      13      excess of about 7,000 wire-down locations.

      14             We needed to balance, clearing those

      15      wire-down locations at the same time of getting the

      16      backbone of the system up that was bringing back,

      17      you know, hundreds of thousands of customers.

      18             SENATOR MARTINS:  I --

      19             JOHN BRUCKNER:  I think, going forward -- if

      20      I could; I think, going forward, one of the

      21      challenges that we had, was, we did go to many of

      22      these locations and remove the wire so that the tree

      23      could be removed.

      24             But in many of those locations, I think one

      25      of the things that we can do, going forward, better,


       1      is a prioritization system between those coordinated

       2      efforts; between the county OEC [sic] and LIPA, and

       3      the towns and villages, that we can, in advance,

       4      identify:  What are critical intersections?  What

       5      are the critical roadways?

       6             Many of the ones that we did respond to, on

       7      the direction, later on, we found out that there

       8      were more critical ones that could have been

       9      addressed.

      10             SENATOR MARTINS:  What I would suggest to

      11      you, uhm, and I'll leave it as a suggestion, is

      12      that, rather than coordinate on the county level,

      13      try coordinating on a local level, whether it's with

      14      our local villages or towns.

      15             Because, in order for you to get into those

      16      municipalities, if you want to know about outages,

      17      if you want to know where the trees are down, I

      18      could guarantee you that our local communities,

      19      villages and towns, knew where every tree was down

      20      within hours after the storm having passed.

      21             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Minutes.

      22             SENATOR MARTINS:  Within minutes.

      23             That's fair.

      24             They knew where they were.  And if there was

      25      someone from National Grid or LIPA who could have


       1      coordinated with them, I guarantee you that those

       2      trees would have been removed in time for those

       3      repair crews to come back.  We would have saved days

       4      off of your repairs, and people would have had their

       5      power days earlier as a result.

       6             So if there's a suggestion, and I guess, best

       7      practice, that we could take from here, work with

       8      our local communities, because bigger isn't

       9      necessarily better, and consolidation doesn't work.

      10             Thank you.

      11             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Senator LaValle.

      12             SENATOR LAVALLE:  Thank you,

      13      Senator Marcellino.

      14             I grew up in a household where I was taught,

      15      do not defend the indefensible.

      16             This issue of communication was a failure.

      17             Senator Marcellino mentioned individuals that

      18      talked about communication failure.

      19             I have a letter here from the mayor of

      20      East Hampton, Paul Rickenbach, who says the same

      21      thing:  Failure of communication.

      22             So, I think that's something that you really

      23      have to zero in on, and not just gloss over,

      24      because, it was a failure.

      25             Senator Martins talked about the highway


       1      crews.  They have not really gotten enough praise.

       2             All I could speak of, in the

       3      1st Senate District, the highway crews in the

       4      villages and the towns were incredible.

       5             And they said:  If we only had crews behind

       6      us, it could have been done more easily.

       7             Also, we, as elected officials, learned, as

       8      we go about and speak to people, we hear common

       9      themes.  You hear it over and over again.

      10             Again, no one saw trucks for a long period of

      11      time.

      12             So, there were, literally, rumors.

      13             I just tell you -- and I know it's not

      14      true -- there was a rumor, that the reason there

      15      weren't crews out on Sunday, was because you didn't

      16      want to pay overtime.

      17             And I have confirmed that that was false.

      18             But, that's where people were:  Why didn't we

      19      see crews?

      20             You know, LIPA has a responsibility to its

      21      shareholders, meaning, its customers.

      22             But it also has another responsibility:  You

      23      have to keep the lights on.

      24             What was happening -- isn't there -- Mike,

      25      what kind of tree-trimming program did we have?


       1             MICHAEL HERVEY:  Well --

       2             SENATOR LAVALLE:  Prior to the -- I mean, the

       3      year before the storm.

       4             MICHAEL HERVEY:  Sure, Senator.

       5             There's a very aggressive tree-trimming

       6      program.  I think that National Grid spends over

       7      $20 million a year in tree trimming.  And each area

       8      is on a certain cycle, and we certainly are on those

       9      cycles.  And, it's on par, if not superior to most

      10      utilities' tree-trimming program.

      11             The basic issue here, the main issue was, not

      12      tree trimming, but whole trees failing.

      13             We had a significant amount of rain ahead of

      14      this storm.  And what we saw, time and time again,

      15      is the whole tree coming over.

      16             So, that's not something that the

      17      tree-trimming program per se can address.

      18             I think the fact that we didn't have many

      19      more outages with this is a testament to the

      20      tree-trimming program, and its effectiveness.  And,

      21      the daily reliability of the system on a day-in,

      22      day-out basis, I think also goes to the

      23      effectiveness of the tree-trimming program.

      24             SENATOR LAVALLE:  Is that 20 million, more,

      25      less, or the same, as it was in the previous year?


       1             MICHAEL HERVEY:  It's -- I'll let John answer

       2      that.

       3             The budget ramped up a few years ago, and

       4      I'll let John go into the specifics.

       5             JOHN BRUCKNER:  The tree-trim budget has been

       6      consistent, I think, from a tree-trim perspective.

       7             What has ramped up, is, we have installed a

       8      hazardous-tree program, in accordance with LIPA's

       9      direction.

      10             So, in addition to trimming trees, which is

      11      really protecting the system for the majority of the

      12      season, the hazard-tree program is where we go

      13      around and identify hazardous trees, that are not

      14      healthy, that pose a threat to the wire, as, more

      15      during a storm.

      16             Those numbers have increased over the years.

      17      As a matter of fact, the inception of that program

      18      is only a few years old, so, we have started picking

      19      up on that program.

      20             And while we did the hazardous-tree program,

      21      or brought that into existence, we didn't take

      22      anything away from the existing tree-trim program at

      23      all.  As a matter of fact, over the last five years,

      24      we probably added miles to the tree-trim program, on

      25      an annual basis.


       1             SENATOR LAVALLE:  20 million; more or less

       2      than the previous year?

       3             JOHN BRUCKNER:  The $20 million is about on

       4      par with the previous year.  I wouldn't say it was

       5      any more or less.

       6             We didn't take away from it, and we didn't

       7      add to it.

       8             SENATOR LAVALLE:  Okay.

       9             My last comment, and, Mike, you were at the

      10      hearing when Senator Maziarz came down, the

      11      Energy Committee.

      12             And I think we've reached a point, and --

      13      where we need to make a decision, as a legislature,

      14      and an executive, on whether we continue with LIPA

      15      in the form that it's in.  And, whether LIPA

      16      contracts out to a private company to deliver

      17      certain services.

      18             Because, Senator Martins and

      19      Senator Fuschillo were right on target, and even

      20      Senator Marcellino:  Who's providing what?

      21             And people are confused, what is LIPA's

      22      function.

      23             I know that you've had between 90 and

      24      100 employees.  That has been your number of

      25      employees at LIPA.  So, you contract out to


       1      National Grid, to provide certain services.

       2             We have to decide whether that works; that

       3      model works or not.

       4             So, that -- both of you have enormous

       5      experience, but if you're operating in a failed

       6      model, then no matter what you do, is, you're going

       7      to end up with failure.

       8             So, we, as a legislature, in the next

       9      12 months, have to make that decision.

      10             And I know this is on the Governor's list, to

      11      do, to figure out, to make recommendations.  But,

      12      we, as a legislature, also have to take a look at

      13      it.

      14             I know it's a difficult job, but, if you're

      15      working in a failed system, then no matter how much

      16      you spin your wheels, you are just going to fail.

      17             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Thank you, Senator.

      18             Senator Flanagan.

      19             The statement that came to me as a -- as

      20      customers and consumers were calling over the

      21      weekend, my office was staffed, as were most of our

      22      offices, over the weekends.

      23             We had a section in Hicksville, right across

      24      the street from the old LILCO main headquarters on

      25      Old Country Road.  Directly across the street was a


       1      community, predominantly of older people, because it

       2      was -- it's been there a long time.  They were

       3      without power.  And, they trying to get power to

       4      these senior citizens, and trying to help them out.

       5             My office was aggressively involved.

       6             When one of my people reached one of your

       7      call operators, she asked, "Where is this community

       8      that you're talking about?"

       9             And she was told, "Right across the street

      10      from your headquarters."

      11             My person was told, "Our headquarters is in

      12      London."

      13             It's totally unacceptable.

      14             It wasn't a joke, it was just stated.

      15             Now, that's a toss-back.

      16             Those people didn't get power for another

      17      two days.

      18             So, what Senator Martins was saying:  Local

      19      communities, local towns.

      20             The town halls of many of the villages were

      21      out of power for days.

      22             Town of Oyster Bay was out of power, main

      23      headquarters, for two to three days.

      24             And we had this conversation, Mike, about

      25      this.  And you told me that they have to take care


       1      of themselves.  That they should be able to take

       2      care of themselves.

       3             My question is:  They're priorities.

       4             What are the priorities?

       5             If government headquarters, governments that

       6      will disperse crews, from road crews, to tree-trim,

       7      to move trees, to get things out of the way, so your

       8      people can come in and repair the lines, don't have

       9      power, or have to operate on generators, which is

      10      not efficient, and very -- and, in many cases, not

      11      effective, I think you -- you're cutting your own

      12      throat here.  You're weakening your force.

      13             Your crews could have been expanded by

      14      hundreds of other workers from local municipalities,

      15      that might have been able to help you and assist you

      16      in clearing roads, clearing trees, and clearing

      17      routine -- clearing areas.

      18             Let me ask this question:  What are the

      19      priorities?  Who goes first?

      20             Who gets put back first, who gets put back

      21      second, and so forth?

      22             Where are your priorities?

      23             MICHAEL HERVEY:  A great question.

      24             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Thank you.

      25             MICHAEL HERVEY:  The priorities really have


       1      two parallel paths.

       2             One is the public infrastructure.

       3             And, I think we were very forward in talking

       4      about that.  And that was, the hospitals and nursing

       5      homes were on that infrastructure parallel path.

       6             We also, as county OEMs identified for us

       7      specific intersections, or other specific issues, we

       8      needed to deal with.

       9             At one point, we were dealing with a plant

      10      that processes a lot of the gasoline coming onto

      11      Long Island.

      12             So, that public-infrastructure path primarily

      13      starts with those critical-care facilities.  And,

      14      then, other priorities that are identified to us, as

      15      we go along, by the county OEMs.

      16             So, that's the control point there for

      17      prioritization across the whole effort.

      18             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  There are two nursing

      19      homes, critical-care nursing homes, in

      20      Suffolk County that didn't have power for four days.

      21             MICHAEL HERVEY:  Right.

      22             And --

      23             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  How did that happen?

      24             MICHAEL HERVEY:  And because they're high

      25      priority does not mean that we can accomplish


       1      getting them on quickly.

       2             As was indicated, the first day was taking

       3      up, putting our transmission system back together,

       4      along with some restoration.  And then, basically,

       5      we have to build the system out from the substation.

       6             So, it always comes down to man-hours of

       7      work.  And you simply have to get all the work done,

       8      from the substation out to the customer, in order to

       9      get the customers on.

      10             So, being a priority doesn't mean that the

      11      customer comes on quickly.  It means that they're

      12      working -- we're working on the issue, up-front, and

      13      as a first priority.

      14             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Your statement of

      15      substations, and the use of the term "substations,"

      16      that you, and Mr. Bruckner also, stated, we found

      17      that somewhat frustrating, because, in contacting

      18      and communicating, we were told many times by the

      19      callers:  Well, that's being handled by a

      20      substation.

      21             Okay, which one?

      22             "We don't know."

      23             Can we communicate with them?

      24             "No.  We don't have a number we can give you

      25      to communicate with them."


       1             How do we pass a message on to them?

       2             "Well, we're going to have to do that."

       3             I said:  How are you going to do that if you

       4      can't -- you don't know where they are, and you

       5      can't communicate with them?

       6             It was -- I'll say it again; you can hear the

       7      frustration, I hope:  It didn't work.  The plan

       8      didn't work.

       9             There's no other way to put it.

      10             I know you train.  I know that.

      11             I know you have plans.  I know that.

      12             You have press releases that say that.

      13             You have press releases that say you had an

      14      automated phone system.

      15             You have a press release that says you have a

      16      website that worked.

      17             Your website was a disgrace.  It didn't work.

      18      It wasn't updated effectively.  It was a mess.

      19             It was talking, for three days, about

      20      assessing.

      21             And then when it was, after the assessing

      22      dropped, it was telling areas:  We're back on-line.

      23      That 50 percent was done.

      24             We knew that wasn't true.  It simply wasn't

      25      accurate.


       1             So, there needs the be a complete overhaul of

       2      this system.

       3             The phone systems; how intimately were you

       4      tied into Verizon and Cablevision's lines?

       5             Because, a lot of them had to come down too.

       6      When the trees hit the lines, and the lines came

       7      down and poles came down, I'm sure phone lines came

       8      down as well.

       9             How did that impact you?

      10             JOHN BRUCKNER:  So, in preparation for this

      11      storm, we had reached out to Verizon.  And we had

      12      Verizon crews and supervision assigned to each of

      13      our divisional areas, so, we were -- in our dispatch

      14      rooms.

      15             And, across the Island, in our four dispatch

      16      rooms, we had Verizon supervision, we had access to

      17      Verizon crews.

      18             So, when their facilities were impacted, you

      19      know, they certainly went out and corrected them.

      20             When it was a pole down that had their

      21      infrastructure on it, we were able to assign them to

      22      that pole.  We knew that pole was being taken care

      23      of by Verizon.

      24             So --

      25             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  When you talk about


       1      Verizon, you're also talking about Cablevision as

       2      well?

       3             JOHN BRUCKNER:  No, sir.  I was just talking

       4      specifically about Verizon.

       5             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  What about Cable?  Why

       6      don't you work with them?

       7             JOHN BRUCKNER:  Well, Cablevision crews do

       8      not set poles on Long Island.

       9             So, if there's a pole that comes down, it's

      10      either a Verizon pole or it's a LIPA pole.  It

      11      wouldn't be a Cablevision pole.

      12             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  They wouldn't have a

      13      Cablevision line on it?

      14             JOHN BRUCKNER:  There may have a Cablevision

      15      line on it.  And, in many cases, Cablevision would

      16      go out, and, you know, they would identify their

      17      outages and respond to them.

      18             If this was their wire down, they would go to

      19      that location and identify it, and repair it

      20      themselves.

      21             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  What you're telling me

      22      is, that you don't communicate with them?

      23             JOHN BRUCKNER:  We have communication with --

      24      we have communication with Cablevision.

      25             If there's a wire down, what happens is,


       1      the -- as I said before, there's about

       2      7,000 wire-downs that occurred during this event.

       3      More than half of those wire-downs were not LIPA's

       4      wires.

       5             We would always be the first to go out, or

       6      attempt to be the first to go out.  Based on the

       7      volume, it was more of a difficult challenge, but,

       8      we would always go out first, because there's always

       9      a public-safety liability; that, if it were an

      10      electric wire, when customers report those

      11      wire-downs, it's very difficult for them to

      12      differentiate which they are.

      13             So, we go to the site of caution, and respond

      14      to each one of those wire-down locations.

      15             If it's not our wire down, we do try to make

      16      communication to the company whose it is, if it's

      17      not ours.

      18             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Just one more question,

      19      and I'll turn it over to Jack Martins.

      20             On South Oyster Bay Road, a large tree fell

      21      over Oyster Bay Road, taking the power lines with

      22      it.  The only thing that was holding the tree off

      23      the ground, because it never really reached the

      24      road, but it was, like that (indicating), was the

      25      lines that were supporting it.


       1             That tree took out my entire community, so

       2      I'm very familiar with this one.

       3             It took three days to get that tree removed.

       4             The response was, "It's not our tree.  This

       5      is a county road."

       6             We had to get, the county crew has to come

       7      out and take it down.

       8             Again, the communication between you, your

       9      people, and a level of government, to know that

      10      there were several hundred homes that were out of

      11      power, as well as a hanging tree, where cars

      12      literally were driving under the tree.

      13             I was able to reach Deputy County

      14      Executive Walker, who sent a crew out, and said:  We

      15      have to know that the lines are dead before our

      16      crews are going to touch the tree, because it's a

      17      safety factor.

      18             Understood.

      19             So somebody had to tell the county the lines

      20      were dead, so that the county would go in there with

      21      a crew and remove the tree, so that the LIPA,

      22      National Grid, whoever, could come in and readjust

      23      and reconnect the lines.

      24             The communication wasn't there.  Trust me, I

      25      know this, I lived.  And so did my neighbors.


       1             And that was repeated over and over again,

       2      Island-wide.

       3             I could cite you dozen of cases, similar to

       4      that, where there was a communication problem

       5      between your people and a local municipality, be it

       6      a county, be a town, be it a village.

       7             That has to change.  There has to be, a --

       8      and perhaps what Jack said, perhaps communication

       9      better, instead of these bigger, through county

      10      OEMs, to, maybe go down to towns, maybe work it

      11      through villages.

      12             Somehow there has to be a better system of

      13      communication between the localities.

      14             Senator Martins.

      15             SENATOR MARTINS:  Just a few more questions.

      16             How did you approach traffic signals?

      17             I know, in my community, there are a number

      18      of traffic signals that were down on significant

      19      intersections, that remained out for days.

      20             What was the approach, there?

      21             JOHN BRUCKNER:  Want me to take that?

      22             So, for traffic signals, once again, we did

      23      work with the county EOCs.  So, the county EOCs,

      24      we had representation in there, and they would

      25      forward over the -- I was going say, "the critical,"


       1      but, really, the volume of signals that were out.

       2             So, those locations would be forwarded.

       3             On Sunday, we did assign personnel to work

       4      with the counties directly, not only the people that

       5      were there, but back in the divisions, as far as

       6      personnel crews, field personnel, to work with them,

       7      and account for those traffic signals being out.

       8             But, again, here, I would go back to the

       9      comment that I made earlier, about tree-trimming,

      10      debris in the road, and clearing it.

      11             We did find ourselves moving, from the county

      12      EOCs, into some of the towns specifically, and

      13      working directly with the towns.

      14             We did make good progress with that approach.

      15      To your suggestion earlier, we did try to more

      16      localize that approach.

      17             Once again, I think the challenge there was,

      18      even the ones we got to, very early Sunday, and

      19      then, as the week progressed, were not always the

      20      most critical.

      21             I spent a number of hours across Long Island

      22      as well.  And, while I saw that there were some that

      23      were restored, there were also main intersections

      24      that remained out.

      25             So I think, not only the coordination, but we


       1      do need to, in advance, identify, what are -- in the

       2      prioritization, what are the most critical

       3      intersections, so we do make sure, on a town and

       4      county basis, those are in, so that, if they're not,

       5      those are the high priorities that we do address.

       6             And I would agree with you, that we do need a

       7      comprehensive plan, beyond just LIPA going out and

       8      putting a streetlight back in; but, coordinated with

       9      the towns, with the municipalities, with the

      10      counties, to get a team together, to identify what

      11      the prioritization is, and how do we go about doing

      12      that in the most efficient manner, while still

      13      balancing, getting the restoration process underway

      14      as well.

      15             So, we want to balance all of these

      16      high-priority issues with bringing back as many

      17      customers as possible.

      18             I just want to clarify something about the

      19      streetlight crossings.

      20             Following LIPA's priority of the most

      21      customers brought back for each repair that's made,

      22      when we do that, we also bring back many

      23      intersections as well.  It's not just the customers.

      24             So, there is a focus that, inherently, is

      25      built into bringing some of them back, but I don't


       1      think it identifies the prioritization as much as

       2      something that we need to do, collectively, going

       3      forward.

       4             SENATOR MARTINS:  How many crews were out

       5      immediately after the storm?

       6             JOHN BRUCKNER:  We had -- you know, we keep

       7      using this word "crews," versus "linemen."

       8             So, people out in the field, we have on the

       9      Island, it was -- 5,100 -- about 6,000 people

      10      working the storm.

      11             In the field, we -- going into it the first

      12      day, I think we had just under 600 off-Island

      13      linemen here, in addition to what we have on Island,

      14      which is our own work force and our own local

      15      contractors, which is about 450.

      16             So, the first day, it was, you know,

      17      somewhere in the area of the 800-and-change, and the

      18      450-and-change, as far as linemen.

      19             As tree-trimmers on the Island, it's a couple

      20      hundred that we have on the island.  But during the

      21      course of the event, we continued to bring on

      22      tree-trimmers as well.

      23             SENATOR MARTINS:  How many crews did you have

      24      available that were capable of deenergizing lines?

      25             JOHN BRUCKNER:  That's the same number, sir.


       1             SENATOR MARTINS:  Okay, so, if we have --

       2      again, I'm going back to a point I made earlier.

       3             If we have, 64 villages, 3 towns, in

       4      Nassau County, and we have the ability to take a

       5      fraction of the crews that you have at your disposal

       6      but, frankly, much more efficiently, deploy them in

       7      a way that is going to coordinate with local

       8      resources, doesn't that make sense?

       9             JOHN BRUCKNER:  Yeah, I do agree that it's

      10      something that we need to take a look at; is,

      11      looking at how we can work, again, more locally, and

      12      putting some of those resources, at the local level,

      13      to address many of those situations.

      14             SENATOR MARTINS:  I hope you understand the

      15      frustration, that, this isn't the first time, out.

      16             And the question naturally is:  Why haven't

      17      we done it before?

      18             I mean, it just seems like a no-brainer.

      19             How did we get to this point, where we have

      20      not, and were not, prepared to deal with a tropical

      21      storm of this nature?

      22             And, I guess, these are the lessons that

      23      we're trying to get through, through this hearing.

      24             Were -- your -- both, yourselves, and your

      25      top-staff personnel, here, present, during the


       1      storm, and immediately after the storm?

       2             JOHN BRUCKNER:  So, yes, myself, and my

       3      staff, were here during the -- certainly, during the

       4      pre-storm, as we were watching the track of the

       5      storm, as well as throughout the event.  And,

       6      continue to be, with respect to the follow-up,

       7      because the system, still, repairs are being made

       8      today, and over the course of next several weeks.

       9             So, they were on site.  We all worked.

      10             You know, we used the term "16-hour days."

      11             I don't really believe that to be the case.

      12      Most, as we know, it's -- that's just a term, but

      13      it's probably more in the way of 20-hour days.

      14             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Right.

      15             JOHN BRUCKNER:  And my staff was, not only

      16      located in Hicksville, but also shared

      17      responsibilities out in many of these locations

      18      where we had substations that were activated.

      19             The experience of the staff that I have, in

      20      excess of 20 years per person, or so, their

      21      expertise was used out in the field as well; so,

      22      they wore many hats.

      23             But, nobody was absent, sir.

      24             SENATOR MARTINS:  Were a number of weeks,

      25      post the storm?


       1             JOHN BRUCKNER:  Yes.

       2             SENATOR MARTINS:  Can both of you share with

       3      us, what lessons we learned.

       4             And, can you give assurances to, our

       5      residents, rate payers, that there are changes in

       6      place, or in the process of being implemented, to

       7      prevent things like this from happening?

       8             And, if so, what are they?

       9             MICHAEL HERVEY:  Senator, I certainly do want

      10      to give you an assurance.

      11             I think that's what we have been indicating,

      12      is that, we are going to do a thorough review at the

      13      local level, at our trustee level, and even on a

      14      statewide level, in conjunction with PSC, on lessons

      15      learned here.

      16             And we'll put -- just as we do after every

      17      major event, we'll put the improvements in place.

      18             I do want to caution, that a hurricane or a

      19      tropical storm is still a major event.  And there

      20      will still always be issues, at the end of the day,

      21      that are unforeseen, or that aren't part of what

      22      we're geared to handle.

      23             But, we freely acknowledge that we need to do

      24      a much better job, at the communications, and at the

      25      coordinations, level.


       1             Communications with governments and our

       2      customers.  And, also, coordination with the towns

       3      and villages.

       4             And, we've already started that process.

       5             As I indicated, we sat down last week,

       6      with -- ultimately, I think we met with about

       7      a third of the villages on the Island.  Got a lot of

       8      good feedback.  But, it's also not something that's

       9      instantaneous.

      10             So, we are in the process right now, both the

      11      LIPA and the National Grid teams, of putting

      12      together short-term actions, if, God forbid,

      13      something were to happen again in the next few

      14      weeks, or even over the winter.  And then we'll have

      15      some longer-term actions, that take more building-up

      16      of computer systems, and that type of thing.

      17             So, we are actively working on all of those

      18      paths to improve the response.

      19             SENATOR MARTINS:  Thank you.

      20             SENATOR FUSCHILLO:  Mike, quick question:

      21      When does the National Grid contract expire with

      22      LIPA?

      23             MICHAEL HERVEY:  The contract expires

      24      December 31st of 2013.

      25             SENATOR FUSCHILLO:  Okay.  Then, why, if --


       1      why is -- why was LIPA going to take that up, this

       2      month, I believe it was, the LIPA board of trustees,

       3      when it doesn't expire for another --

       4             MICHAEL HERVEY:  Sure.

       5             Regardless of --

       6             SENATOR FUSCHILLO:  Two and a half years;

       7      right?

       8             MICHAEL HERVEY:  Regardless of who is --

       9             Well, it's two years and a few months.

      10             SENATOR FUSCHILLO:  Right.

      11             MICHAEL HERVEY:  -- LIPA feels that it needs

      12      a two-year transition period, regardless of who is

      13      selected, even if it's National Grid.

      14             And the reason being, is that the contract

      15      structure and the organizational structure that

      16      we're specifying is dramatically different than the

      17      structure that we have today.

      18             So, just the simplist of things you think

      19      about:

      20             We've talked about computer systems, and such

      21      things here.  The computer systems are not simple to

      22      transition over.

      23             And, the employee plans, those types of

      24      things, organizational structures, it is a huge

      25      effort to make that transition, even with


       1      National Grid.

       2             So, we really think, to do it successfully --

       3      and "successful" means, the day we make that

       4      transition, that our customers, either, don't

       5      notice, or they notice an improvement -- we think

       6      that we need a full two years to transition that

       7      organization.

       8             SENATOR FUSCHILLO:  Has -- have you or the

       9      board of trustees considered any other provider?

      10             MICHAEL HERVEY:  Oh, absolutely.

      11             SENATOR FUSCHILLO:  You have.

      12             MICHAEL HERVEY:  And we've been very open

      13      about that; that we have been engaging in competitor

      14      negotiations with three providers.

      15             SENATOR FUSCHILLO:  Right now?

      16             MICHAEL HERVEY:  That's, National Grid,

      17      Con Ed, and PSEG --

      18             SENATOR FUSCHILLO:  Right now?

      19             MICHAEL HERVEY:  -- all are finalists.  And,

      20      we've essentially completed those contract

      21      negotiations --

      22             SENATOR FUSCHILLO:  Okay.

      23             MICHAEL HERVEY:  -- and are in the process of

      24      working towards a recommendation -- on evaluation of

      25      those contracts, working on a recommendation to the


       1      board of trustees.

       2             SENATOR FUSCHILLO:  Has the board of trustees

       3      indicated to you -- this is my final question --

       4      their time frame to recommend a permanent CEO to the

       5      Governor, to be recommended to the Senate Energy

       6      Committee and to the full Senate?

       7             MICHAEL HERVEY:  They have not given me that

       8      information.

       9             SENATOR FUSCHILLO:  Okay.  Thank you.

      10             Thank you, Senator.

      11             MICHAEL HERVEY:  Senator Marcellino, I would

      12      just like to beg your indulgence.

      13             I know you're well aware of my time

      14      constraint.

      15             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  I'm going to close it

      16      down, and let you both go in just one second.  I

      17      understand that you do have a time constraint, and

      18      that's one of the reasons why we started -- we

      19      wanted to start a little earlier today than

      20      necessary.

      21             We do appreciate the fact that you did come.

      22             They have a meeting, and as an -- an auditing

      23      review.

      24             I would just -- getting to what my colleague

      25      was talking about:  I would suggest, and make a


       1      strong recommendation, because I will be following

       2      that up with a letter to the Governor, that, I don't

       3      believe there should be any recommendation made by

       4      the board of trustees as to the contract with

       5      National Grid, until the -- until all of the reviews

       6      of this process have been completed.

       7             And included in those reviews, I believe,

       8      should be a complete review -- by an outside, not

       9      internal, group -- by an independent outside

      10      organization of supplier experts, which I believe we

      11      can put together as quickly as possible, as to:

      12             The relationship between LIPA and Grid;

      13             The formation of LIPA:  Does it work?  Is the

      14      system something we want to, maintain? keep going?

      15      whatever?

      16             I think all of that has to be looked at,

      17      completely, and it has to be reviewed before any

      18      recommendation, can, or should, be made as to who's

      19      going to run the system.

      20             And I'm going urge that that be postponed

      21      until this review process is completed, because, as

      22      I think we've all pointed out, that there's nobody

      23      up here that's been happy as to what's going on, and

      24      the way it's been handled.

      25             "No one" is happy.


       1             I haven't talked to a single individual, that

       2      will state that this is a -- this thing worked, and

       3      it was flawless.

       4             And every one of us believes that the review

       5      process has to be done, and it cannot be done

       6      in-house.

       7             I don't believe -- and this is not a personal

       8      attack on anybody -- but, I just don't believe that

       9      you can evaluate yourself effectively.

      10             I think it has to come from an outside

      11      entity, to come in and look at what went on,

      12      dispassionately, and without any agenda; to come in

      13      there, and give recommendations to the Governor, and

      14      to the Legislature, as to, how this thing worked,

      15      how it should work, how it can work, and any

      16      recommendation as to be handled in the future.

      17             We've heard talk about cost, of $176 million

      18      to the rate payers.

      19             How are you going to pay that?

      20             Are we going to see a rate increase?

      21             The question I'm getting on a daily basis:

      22      "Are we going to see a rate increase to pay for

      23      'Irene'"?

      24             We're not out of the hurricane system yet.

      25      We could have another one hit.


       1             It's not over.

       2             You could have a storm in the winter.  It

       3      happens every year, we have a major storm.  We had a

       4      couple last year.  You could have more.

       5             That cost is going to go up and up.

       6             How do we pay for it?

       7             And it can't be on the rate-payers' back

       8      totally.  They cannot keep going.

       9             I say the same thing to the MTA, I say the

      10      same thing to the Port Authority; we're saying the

      11      same thing you to:  You cannot keep going back to

      12      the same well over and over again.  The pockets of

      13      the people of, Nassau, and Suffolk County, the

      14      people of Long Island, they're empty.  And you can't

      15      keep taking money out of their pockets anymore.

      16             So, we have to look at the system.  And,

      17      again, it has to be done by outside people, to

      18      really get a clear and effective evaluation of the

      19      system, and how it's operated.

      20             I thank you for coming in.  I thank you both

      21      for your time.

      22             And, I appreciate the work you're doing.

      23             I appreciate the work that your employees do.

      24             What we're trying to do, is formulate a

      25      system that makes your employees more effective, the


       1      system more effective, with one goal:  "To provide

       2      our customers" -- as your Mission Statement says --

       3      "with the best, most cost-effective, and least

       4      expensive electrical services and gas services, on

       5      Long Island, and in the country."

       6             Thank you.  I appreciate your time.

       7             We'll take a five-minute break.

       8                  (Whereupon, the hearing stood in

       9        recess.)

      10                  (The hearing resumed, as follows:)

      11             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  We have a representative

      12      of County Executive Ed Mangano, Craig Craft, who

      13      will be giving another county executive's statement.

      14             Is that microphone the one that --

      15             A/V TECHNICIAN:  This one is better.

      16             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  That's the better one?

      17      Okay.

      18             Mr. Craft.

      19             CRAIG CRAFT:  Senators, good morning.

      20             My name is Craig Craft.  I serve as the

      21      acting commissioner of the Nassau County Office of

      22      Emergency Management.

      23             County Executive Mangano hoped to join you

      24      this morning, but is unable to attend due to a

      25      scheduling conflict.


       1             Accordingly, he has asked that I read the

       2      following testimony into the record on his behalf.

       3             "Members of the Senate Investigations and

       4      Government Operations Committee, thank you for the

       5      opportunity to address this hearing.

       6             "We can all agree that the Long Island Power

       7      Authority's response to the widespread power outages

       8      that occurred as a result of 'Hurricane Irene' was

       9      unacceptable.

      10             "The most glaring issue was the lack of

      11      communication between LIPA and its customers, and

      12      between LIPA and the local municipalities.

      13             "LIPA remained vague, at best, regarding when

      14      residents could expect their power to be restored,

      15      and many times, these estimates were days off.

      16             "In fact, full power was not restored to all

      17      customers until 12 days following the hurricane.

      18             "LIPA knew well in advance of

      19      'Hurricane Irene' making landfall that Long Island

      20      was looking at the worst hurricane it has seen since

      21      'Hurricane Gloria' in 1985.

      22             "In response, LIPA called in more than

      23      3,500 out-of-town workers.  Even with the added

      24      workers, it still took them over a week to restore

      25      full power.


       1             "The most deplorable aspect of this situation

       2      was the amount of time that it took LIPA to restore

       3      power to some critical-care customers, and

       4      facilities that house critical-care patients.

       5             "In neighboring Suffolk County, there were

       6      two nursing homes that were without power for

       7      four days.  Nassau [sic] homes house critical-care

       8      patients, and for them to rely on backup generators

       9      is unacceptable.

      10             "Throughout the initial cleanup, there was a

      11      clear failure by LIPA to communicate with local

      12      crews in order to clear the roadways.

      13             "Nassau County cleaned all downed trees on

      14      county roads immediately after the storm, except for

      15      those where live wires were attached.

      16             "Unfortunately, many crews that were ready to

      17      finish the clean-up process were unable to do so,

      18      because LIPA had not communicated with them, the

      19      live-versus-dead wires.

      20             "Even by LIPA's own admission, it took them a

      21      day or two before they were working effectively with

      22      local governments, on deenergizing lines and

      23      removing trees.

      24             "In wake of 'Hurricane Irene,' Long Island

      25      found itself with over 500,000 of its residents


       1      without power.

       2             "With the amount of notice that LIPA received

       3      of the impending storm, and amount of aid they

       4      received from out-of-town workers, they should have

       5      been equipped to restore power to its customers.

       6             "During the clean-up process, communication

       7      efforts between LIPA and local municipalities, and

       8      LIPA and its customers, were subpar.

       9             "In fact, my office was inundated with

      10      'power' phone calls because residents were only able

      11      to reach an automated system when calling LIPA.

      12             "In the future, LIPA must implement a better

      13      plan for restoring power to Long Island residents,

      14      and they must communicate with localities in a more

      15      efficient manner so we can partner with them to

      16      better serve our residents."

      17             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Senator Fuschillo.

      18             SENATOR FUSCHILLO:  Mr. Craft, thank you very

      19      much for being here on behalf of the

      20      County Executive.

      21             And I must say, that, coordination from him

      22      himself, his office, your office, and other

      23      departments in Nassau County, was excellent.

      24             And we -- that's why we're so frustrated,

      25      because we expected the same of LIPA.


       1             But, I spent many days with the

       2      County Executive and yourself, in the Southern Tier

       3      of my district, on the waterlines, from Freeport to

       4      Massapequa.

       5             And, he was readily available and accessible;

       6      also, arranging for the New York State Insurance

       7      Department to have their office hours -- emergency

       8      office hours at Cedar Creek Park, as well as the

       9      mobile van down there.

      10             And there were many days, including yourself,

      11      when you participated, and you were physically able

      12      to be there.  And, it's a large county.

      13             Where we were down, in South Merrick and

      14      other areas, and Bellmore, Wantaugh, and Seaford,

      15      Massapequa, with FEMA, directly, to show them the

      16      damage, for them to make a -- an assessment of the

      17      damage.  And they were pretty quick to respond as

      18      well.

      19             So, I want to thank you, and the

      20      County Executive himself personally, for his actions

      21      during the storm.

      22             CRAIG CRAFT:  Thank you, on behalf of the

      23      County Executive, and myself.

      24             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Craig, you were in the

      25      audience, I think, for a good part of the testimony


       1      of the gentlemen from LIPA and National Grid; their

       2      claim of communication between other municipalities,

       3      that they've been -- that it was ongoing, and an

       4      important factor in how they worked.

       5             How did you find their communication with

       6      you, as the County's chief emergency management

       7      officer?

       8             CRAIG CRAFT:  Senator, we -- I did take note

       9      of testimony by LIPA.

      10             We did, in fact, have each of the townships

      11      in our EOC, three days prior to the storm,

      12      throughout the storm, and for the week to follow.

      13             A great amount of information went up to

      14      LIPA, but nothing came back down.

      15             The representative that LIPA put in our EOC

      16      was excellent, to say the least.  Sent all of our

      17      information up, but nothing came back down,

      18      including restoring power to critical

      19      infrastructure.

      20             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  So you did have a

      21      representative working with you, and they were

      22      helpful, in a sense, that they helped you to get the

      23      message upwards; but, you never heard back as to,

      24      what was done, and what was being done?

      25             CRAIG CRAFT:  That's correct.


       1             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Dave, do you have any --

       2             ASSEMBLYMAN MCDONOUGH:  I do, thank you.

       3             Thank you, Senator.

       4             Craig, thank you for your remarks, but let me

       5      ask you a question.

       6             During this crisis, "OEM," the Office of

       7      Emergency Management, you were also charged with the

       8      function of preparing shelters as well --

       9             CRAIG CRAFT:  Yes, sir.

      10             ASSEMBLYMAN MCDONOUGH:  -- for the eventually

      11      of the storm requiring that?

      12             CRAIG CRAFT:  Yes, sir.

      13             ASSEMBLYMAN MCDONOUGH:  Right.

      14             And, was that -- was there any cooperation

      15      with LIPA -- other than what you just said, the lack

      16      of it, was there any cooperation with LIPA,

      17      regarding those people who had been evacuated, and

      18      their power situations?

      19             CRAIG CRAFT:  Actually, at one point in the

      20      storm, when power failed to one of the evacuation

      21      sites, we had to relocate residents to a site with

      22      power.

      23             ASSEMBLYMAN MCDONOUGH:  How many people were

      24      in that location, roughly?

      25             CRAIG CRAFT:  Approximately 1,000.


       1             ASSEMBLYMAN MCDONOUGH:  How many?

       2             CRAIG CRAFT:  Approximately 1,000.

       3             ASSEMBLYMAN MCDONOUGH:  So, you lost power in

       4      that shelter for 1,000 people in the shelter?

       5             CRAIG CRAFT:  Yes, sir.

       6             ASSEMBLYMAN MCDONOUGH:  And, was LIPA

       7      responsive to that?

       8             I mean, I'm sure that's the first one you

       9      contacted; right?

      10             CRAIG CRAFT:  Again, information went up,

      11      Assemblyman.

      12             It certainly went up.

      13             ASSEMBLYMAN MCDONOUGH:  It never came down?

      14             CRAIG CRAFT:  If it was a great response, we

      15      wouldn't have relocated the people that were in the

      16      shelter.

      17             ASSEMBLYMAN MCDONOUGH:  Okay, so you heard

      18      nothing back from them when you reported that;

      19      right?

      20             CRAIG CRAFT:  No, sir.

      21             ASSEMBLYMAN MCDONOUGH:  So, then, I guess we

      22      all agree that the communication is what failed

      23      tremendously here; right?

      24             CRAIG CRAFT:  Absolutely.

      25             ASSEMBLYMAN MCDONOUGH:  Okay.


       1             Well, thank you very much for your efforts

       2      during this, Mr. Craft.

       3             Thank you.

       4             Thank you, Senator.

       5             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  You're welcome.

       6             Senator?

       7             It's --

       8             Jack has a question.

       9             Senator Martins.

      10             SENATOR MARTINS:  Uhm --

      11             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  I call him Jack.

      12             SENATOR MARTINS:  That's fine.

      13             Thank you.

      14             Thank you very much for being here.

      15             Just in terms of coordination, your efforts

      16      were specific to the towns; right?

      17             CRAIG CRAFT:  Our efforts were, the county,

      18      towns, and villages, starting with conference calls,

      19      starting a week out, to coordinate efforts with the

      20      town.

      21             SENATOR MARTINS:  I remember those, sure.

      22             But, as -- you know, in the immediate

      23      aftermath of the storm, as each municipality was

      24      responding to its own jurisdiction, can you tell us,

      25      what, and how -- what efforts, and how the county's


       1      OEM coordinated those efforts?

       2             CRAIG CRAFT:  Absolutely.

       3             In the EOC, we have locations for each of the

       4      towns to be represented.

       5             Each township gathers information coming

       6      into, calls to the town highway departments, or

       7      "DPWs."  And, the information is shared back and

       8      forth.

       9             When we receive information into the EOC, we

      10      share it with the three townships.

      11             The three townships, when they receive

      12      information, send it to the county EOC, where

      13      there's a LIPA representative, fire marshals,

      14      police department, and we take the action needed,

      15      dependent on the call.

      16             But, there are representatives, as I stated

      17      earlier.  There were representatives from the three

      18      townships in the EOC, three days prior to the storm,

      19      and a week following the storm, ready to answer

      20      questions, and, make contact with town government to

      21      assure that the needs of the residents were

      22      facilitated.

      23             SENATOR MARTINS:  Yeah, yeah, I understand

      24      that.  And, again, I'm just trying to figure out if

      25      there are lessons to be learned here as well.


       1             You know, when you're dealing with the town

       2      of Oyster Bay, you're not necessarily dealing with

       3      the village of Massapequa Park.

       4             And, certainly, there are resources available

       5      to the village of Massapequa Park.  And, I guess

       6      you're assuming that there's contact between the

       7      town and each individual village, to be able to

       8      coordinate those efforts.

       9             And the same can be said for the town of

      10      Hempstead and the town of North Hempstead.

      11             How are we getting to the street; how are we

      12      getting to the individual residences?

      13             How are we making sure that we're actually

      14      coordinating best efforts, especially in those areas

      15      where you do have larger villages that may not

      16      necessarily be coordinating with the towns as

      17      effectively as you may think?

      18             CRAIG CRAFT:  Senator, early into these

      19      conference calls with the village mayors, they were

      20      all provided with direct contact numbers to key

      21      members of the EOC staff, to communicate any

      22      problems that they had in their village.

      23             On more than one occasion, they took

      24      advantage of those key phone numbers, and their

      25      requests were addressed.


       1             SENATOR MARTINS:  And the information was

       2      sent up?

       3             CRAIG CRAFT:  Sent up, sir.

       4             SENATOR MARTINS:  It never came back?

       5             CRAIG CRAFT:  Rarely.

       6             SENATOR MARTINS:  Understood.

       7             Thank you, sir.

       8             CRAIG CRAFT:  Sure.

       9             ASSEMBLYMAN MCDONOUGH:  Senator?  If I could,

      10      just one other comment, Senator Marcellino?

      11             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Sure.

      12             ASSEMBLYMAN MCDONOUGH:  Craig, you have a --

      13      in the Office of Emergency Management, you have

      14      something called the "CERT teams."

      15             I believe that's the community -- would

      16      you -- "Community Emergency Response Team"?

      17             CRAIG CRAFT:  Yes, sir.

      18             ASSEMBLYMAN MCDONOUGH:  And that's all

      19      staffed, mainly by volunteers from Nassau County

      20      offices who arrive at OEM?

      21             I know, during that big snow storm last year,

      22      that was activated.

      23             And, this was activated just prior to the

      24      full impact of the storm; right?

      25             CRAIG CRAFT:  Absolutely.


       1             We had CERT volunteers in the Office of

       2      Emergency Management throughout the storm.

       3             ASSEMBLYMAN MCDONOUGH:  And I've been in

       4      those offices.  That, you have phone banks there.

       5             And were -- most of those are incoming calls

       6      from people who are calling that number?

       7             Is that where the number that the

       8      County Executive would -- had put out publicly?

       9             Is that where those phones were, basically?

      10             CRAIG CRAFT:  The number that the

      11      County Executive had put out was a non-emergency

      12      number --

      13             ASSEMBLYMAN MCDONOUGH:  Right.

      14             CRAIG CRAFT:  -- that was staffed by

      15      police department personnel.

      16             ASSEMBLYMAN MCDONOUGH:  Okay.

      17             CRAIG CRAFT:  The "Office of Emergency

      18      Management" number, remained, remains, intact

      19      throughout all of events.

      20             The CERT volunteers were manning all incoming

      21      phone calls; as well as, staff from county agencies,

      22      that were not directly out addressing the issues of

      23      the storm, were deployed to OEM, to man the phone

      24      banks there.

      25             ASSEMBLYMAN MCDONOUGH:  Now, those numbers


       1      were -- the calls coming in were from citizens?  Or

       2      was that from agencies trying to coordinate stuff

       3      within the county?  Or, what?

       4             CRAIG CRAFT:  Agencies have direct contact

       5      numbers.

       6             ASSEMBLYMAN MCDONOUGH:  Right.

       7             CRAIG CRAFT:  Most of the calls coming in

       8      were from residents.

       9             ASSEMBLYMAN MCDONOUGH:  And, then, you would

      10      pass them on to -- or, CERT members would pass them

      11      on to, I guess, LIPA, where you said, it was going

      12      up, and not coming back?  Or, what?

      13             CRAIG CRAFT:  Yes.

      14             ASSEMBLYMAN MCDONOUGH:  Okay, so -- but, how

      15      many, uhm -- could you give me an estimate of how

      16      many calls you got?

      17             What would you say out there?  What would you

      18      guess?

      19             CRAIG CRAFT:  The OEM line received

      20      thousands -- multiple, multiple thousands -- of

      21      calls throughout the week; primarily, frustrated

      22      residents of Nassau County that could not get

      23      through to LIPA.

      24             Again, municipalities have a direct line to

      25      call in.


       1             ASSEMBLYMAN MCDONOUGH:  Yeah?

       2             CRAIG CRAFT:  Police agencies have a direct

       3      line to call in.

       4             Our phone lines were manned -- approximately,

       5      75 stations, just manned, just to take incoming

       6      phone calls from residents that, primarily, could

       7      not get through to LIPA.

       8             ASSEMBLYMAN MCDONOUGH:  And that was manned

       9      24/7 throughout the duration, and a little after?

      10             CRAIG CRAFT:  24/7 throughout the duration,

      11      up until Wednesday following the storm.

      12             SENATOR FLANAGAN:  Okay.

      13             Thank you, Craig.

      14             Thank you very much.

      15             Thank you, Senator.

      16             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Senator Fuschillo.

      17             SENATOR FUSCHILLO:  Craig, was your primary

      18      communication and interaction with LIPA, or did that

      19      include National Grid, Verizon, Cablevision, or any

      20      other interested parties that may be affected?

      21             CRAIG CRAFT:  Our representative in the EOC

      22      is from National Grid.

      23             SENATOR FUSCHILLO:  Okay.

      24             CRAIG CRAFT:  We do communicate directly with

      25      Cablevision and Verizon FiOS.


       1             When we learn of outages in areas, again,

       2      that might have to do with critical infrastructure,

       3      a means of getting vital information out to the

       4      residents, we keep an open line of communication to

       5      Cablevision and Verizon FiOS.

       6             SENATOR FUSCHILLO:  Right.  And your

       7      communication was with National Grid and LIPA, or

       8      National Grid directly?

       9             CRAIG CRAFT:  National Grid had a

      10      representative in the office that reports up the

      11      chain to both.

      12             SENATOR FUSCHILLO:  And what about LIPA; did

      13      they have a representative in your office?

      14             CRAIG CRAFT:  A few days after the storm,

      15      they did.

      16             SENATOR FUSCHILLO:  Now, when you -- you

      17      mentioned a few times, everything went up.

      18             Your information was provided to, whom, when

      19      you said "up": LIPA or National Grid?

      20             CRAIG CRAFT:  The call-center rep, again,

      21      sent to the EOC, is a full-time employee of

      22      National Grid.

      23             SENATOR FUSCHILLO:  Okay.

      24             CRAIG CRAFT:  He sends the information up to

      25      National Grid, and LIPA.


       1             He sends it to the LIPA call center.

       2             Again, his position, I believe, is a

       3      National Grid employee --

       4             SENATOR FUSCHILLO:  Okay.

       5             CRAIG CRAFT:  -- full-time.

       6             But, the information going up, was going to

       7      the LIPA call center, just to clarify that.

       8             SENATOR FUSCHILLO:  Right.

       9             And, what came back to you?

      10             CRAIG CRAFT:  Rare.

      11             Rare information, in very rare instances.

      12             I could think of very few, over a few days'

      13      time, that we received accurate communication back

      14      down the line.

      15             Very rare.  Maybe a handful.

      16             SENATOR FUSCHILLO:  During the aftermath of

      17      the event, the storm, the hurricane, however we want

      18      to categorize it -- "tropical storm," Senator --

      19      what was your communication with LIPA in the

      20      aftermath?

      21             CRAIG CRAFT:  With the exception of --

      22             SENATOR FUSCHILLO:  As far as -- and let me

      23      just rephrase that.

      24             With communication from the top, to you, as a

      25      representative of Nassau County OEM, were you


       1      getting briefings, daily? three times, four times a

       2      day?

       3             What type of communication did you have?

       4             CRAIG CRAFT:  Senator, with the exception of

       5      one conference call that I was holding, with the

       6      cities, towns, and villages --

       7             SENATOR FUSCHILLO:  Uh-huh?

       8             CRAIG CRAFT:  -- where LIPA asked to join in

       9      on that call, there was no correspondence from the

      10      top to myself personally.

      11             SENATOR FUSCHILLO:  During the entire week?

      12             CRAIG CRAFT:  Through the entire week, to

      13      myself personally.

      14             SENATOR FUSCHILLO:  Now, since the

      15      aftermath -- aftermath now, what has been the

      16      communication with LIPA with OEM?

      17             CRAIG CRAFT:  Again, their employee in the

      18      EOC remained there.

      19             SENATOR FUSCHILLO:  Right.

      20             No, I'm speaking about --

      21             CRAIG CRAFT:  To OEM?

      22             SENATOR FUSCHILLO:  -- from the

      23      administration of LIPA.

      24             CRAIG CRAFT:  None.

      25             SENATOR FUSCHILLO:  Nothing since then?


       1             CRAIG CRAFT:  Nothing at all.

       2             SENATOR FUSCHILLO:  Okay.

       3             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Senator Martins.

       4             SENATOR MARTINS:  Thank you.

       5             Your understanding, as far as a response to

       6      this tropical storm, who was responsible, or who had

       7      direct oversight, of deployment of personnel, as

       8      between National Grid and LIPA?

       9             CRAIG CRAFT:  National Grid.

      10             SENATOR MARTINS:  Decisions made as to, how

      11      to deploy, and where to deploy, who was making those

      12      decisions?

      13             CRAIG CRAFT:  I would have to say,

      14      National Grid.

      15             Again, that is my understanding.

      16             SENATOR MARTINS:  I understand.

      17             CRAIG CRAFT:  I'm certainly not in a position

      18      where I'm setting policy for them, but it's my

      19      understanding that it was National Grid's management

      20      deploying the employees to the field.

      21             SENATOR MARTINS:  And as much information as

      22      you were providing, and, as you were available with

      23      resources on the local level, to be able to

      24      coordinate with them, was it your experience that

      25      they were unresponsive?


       1             CRAIG CRAFT:  It was certainly unresponsive.

       2             I reflect to a microburst that affected

       3      Great Neck --

       4             SENATOR MARTINS:  Sure.

       5             CRAIG CRAFT:  -- about a year and a half ago,

       6      where, LIPA and National Grid responded to the EOC

       7      that was set up in Great Neck.

       8             There was a coordinated effort at that time,

       9      between LIPA and National Grid, and the local DPW

      10      and highway forces, to go out, as you had mentioned

      11      earlier, in unison.

      12             You know, kill the power, clear a road.  Not

      13      to have agencies going to different locations at

      14      different times, and finding their hands tied, that

      15      they couldn't gain access to a road because a tree

      16      was down; or, vice versa, they couldn't remove the

      17      tree because the power was on.

      18             SENATOR MARTINS:  What would you -- to what

      19      would you attribute the lack of coordination on

      20      their part, with respect to their response to this

      21      storm?

      22             CRAIG CRAFT:  Poor communication.

      23             Just, poor communication is the key component

      24      to this failure of the response to this storm.

      25             SENATOR MARTINS:  Thank you.


       1             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Craig, thank you very

       2      much for your testimony.

       3             I think the issue here that we're trying to

       4      get at, and I have just one quick question for you:

       5      Were there ever any police, fire, or other

       6      first-responder emergency personnel who were without

       7      power, to your knowledge, within the county?

       8             CRAIG CRAFT:  Yes, there was.

       9             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  How long did it take to

      10      get them back on-line?

      11             CRAIG CRAFT:  Off the top of my head -- I

      12      don't want to give you incorrect information -- but

      13      I believe it was, Tuesday, after a conference call

      14      with the village mayors, where there was an issue on

      15      the North Shore, restoring power.

      16             I know that Merrick Fire Department was

      17      without power for quite some time.

      18             I know that Wantaugh Fire Department,

      19      Station 5, on Merrick Road in Bellmore, was without

      20      power, approximately six days.

      21             I know that Wantaugh Fire Department,

      22      Station Number 4, was without power, approximately a

      23      week.

      24             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  See, this is what I was

      25      talking about earlier, when I asked about


       1      priorities.

       2             What were the priorities?  And, how were they

       3      addressed?  And, who addressed them?

       4             And when you have town halls out, for

       5      three days, with the inability to communicate to

       6      their crews, to go out and help clear streets and

       7      access roads, and so forth; when you have a county

       8      not being told that that tree overlying a -- or

       9      overhanging a major thoroughfare can't be cleared,

      10      because they weren't officially told that the wires

      11      were dead, so that it would be safe for the crews to

      12      come and chop the tree down, and break it up and

      13      move it out of the way, so that the crews could then

      14      come in and fix the wires; this kind of

      15      communication, one cannot have police, fire

      16      departments, first responders, emergency

      17      circumstances, and emergency situations, you know,

      18      out in an area, and claim, "We have a successful

      19      system, and a twenty-first-century communication

      20      system, that is -- that just doesn't fly.

      21             So, I thank you for your testimony, Craig.

      22      And I appreciate it.

      23             Thank the County Executive for his

      24      assistance, and his service, during the storm.

      25             I'm sure everybody appreciates it.


       1             CRAIG CRAFT:  Thank you, Senator.

       2             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Our next speaker will be

       3      Mayor Mark Weiss of the village of Hewlett Harbor.

       4             MAYOR MARK WEISS:  Senator Marcellino,

       5      distinguished members:  My name is Mark Weiss, and

       6      I am the mayor of the incorporated village of

       7      Hewlett Harbor.

       8             On behalf of the residents of our village, a

       9      mostly residential community, located in the

      10      southwestern corner of Nassau County, and with a

      11      heartfelt sense of concern for all who lived and

      12      work on Long Island during the storm, I want to

      13      thank you for holding this most important hearing.

      14             I feel privileged to be here today.

      15             While mine is but one voice, and mine is

      16      one -- but one small village, I believe my

      17      frustrations and bewilderment regarding LIPA's

      18      response to "Tropical Storm Irene" reflects what has

      19      been, and still is being, expressed by hundreds of

      20      thousands of Long Islanders, people who live --

      21      people who I believe, and I dare say, have the right

      22      to believe, that they have been victimized, and let

      23      down by LIPA.

      24             By painting a word picture, describing what

      25      went on in my village, I hope to give voice to all


       1      those who are eager to gain a commitment from LIPA;

       2      a commitment that our utility will fix their

       3      emergency-preparedness plans, what I see as a

       4      systemically flawed model, that, from head to toe,

       5      needs to be revisited, and revamped.

       6             In the aftermath of "Tropical Storm Irene,"

       7      it is clear that LIPA and National Grid failed.

       8             And so that I am not misunderstood, I'm not

       9      speaking about a failure on the part of the

      10      thousands of men and women who work for LIPA.  We

      11      are in their debt.

      12             In my view, this was, specifically, and most

      13      definitely, a failure of leadership.  As such, LIPA,

      14      as a utility, violated a sacred trust with its

      15      customers, and with our counties, our towns, and our

      16      villages.

      17             In less than two weeks, LIPA undermined the

      18      feeling of safety all Long Islanders have a right to

      19      expect from the providers of their electrical power;

      20      the power that lights our homes and our offices, the

      21      power that helps to heat and cool our homes, the

      22      power that drives the machines that wash and dry our

      23      clothes, the power that runs our televisions and

      24      radios, that heats our ovens and electrifies our

      25      microwaves, and the power that runs our computers,


       1      and oftentimes, the computers that run our phones,

       2      and, to so many, most importantly, the power that

       3      keeps our food fresh.

       4             Based on the experience of this Island

       5      resident, the poor planning, the poor coordination,

       6      the poor internal and external communications

       7      surrounding this storm, categorizes "Irene" as

       8      nothing short of LIPA's "Katrina."

       9             Just as "Katrina" exposed FEMA's

      10      inadequacies, "Irene" hung a lantern on what now

      11      appears to be LIPA's soft underbelly.

      12             The time for anger, emotion, and name-calling

      13      is over.  This is the time to reflect on the past,

      14      only to plan for the future.  A better future.

      15             Let's begin with what's commonly known and

      16      accepted as fact by all Long Island residents:

      17      Long Island has trees.

      18             These are trees that block roads, and trees

      19      that knock down power lines.  Trees that were, and

      20      in the future will be, an impediment to getting the

      21      right people and equipment to where they need to be.

      22             Future planning must recognize the challenges

      23      these trees present, and your planning -- LIPA's

      24      planning, must prepare for the probability that they

      25      will fall.


       1             Second:  Understanding the probable, or even

       2      the possible, magnitude of the devastation after a

       3      storm, understanding where critical problems might

       4      be, understanding how best, and where, to deploy

       5      assets, cannot be left to the last minute, or until

       6      after the event has occurred.

       7             Yes, Long Island Power Authority's customers,

       8      I'm sure, will be willing to accept that LIPA will

       9      not have assets in place for a spontaneous disaster.

      10      But it is difficult to fathom why, as it appears,

      11      LIPA's assets were not where they were needed when

      12      "Irene" was being touted for weeks as the

      13      "storm of the century."

      14             Setting aside that experts were wrong

      15      regarding the severity of the storm, the Nassau, and

      16      Suffolk County, executives, town executives,

      17      village mayors, citizens' groups, and business

      18      residents across Long Island were preparing for

      19      almost two weeks.

      20             What on earth was LIPA doing during that

      21      time?

      22             Senators, let me suggest, that hope is not a

      23      strategy.

      24             In the future, obtaining and distributing

      25      LIPA assets to all corners of Long Island must be


       1      one of LIPA's highest pre-storm planning

       2      considerations.

       3             And, then, there is the matter of

       4      communications.

       5             From time to time, power will be disrupted.

       6      This is inevitable.  But what Long Islanders should

       7      be able to expect, is that they will be able to

       8      reach their power utility, and that we will get

       9      accurate information about the status of repairs,

      10      either, immediately, or within a reasonable period

      11      of time.

      12             With 20 percent of our village without power,

      13      98 percent of the complaints we received were about

      14      LIPA.

      15             Let me restate:  98 percent of the complaints

      16      we received in the aftermath of "Irene" were from

      17      residents who were not able to get through to LIPA,

      18      about the problems LIPA's intake operators were

      19      having managing outage reports.

      20             This is evidenced by the fact that reports

      21      seem to go missing, and were not being coordinated

      22      with field crews.

      23             Even when our Village tried to aggregate our

      24      resident complaints, it became apparent, that,

      25      within hours, and then within days, that LIPA


       1      left -- LIPA's left hand did not know what LIPA's

       2      right hand was doing.

       3             Complaints were recorded, but they appear to

       4      have fallen into a black hole.

       5             The people we spoke to were courteous, but it

       6      appears that LIPA's infrastructure and systems did

       7      not support their efforts.

       8             When we were told the trucks were in our

       9      area, no trucks could be found.

      10             When we were told that our village hall was

      11      on a priority list, our village hall was, in fact,

      12      the last place in the village to get power restored.

      13             When we were told that a line crew would come

      14      immediately to secure lines tangled in fallen trees,

      15      several tree crews came, and left, because no line

      16      crews ever showed up.

      17             In this day and age where computerized

      18      reporting and status analysis is price of entry for

      19      any business entity of substance, I cannot think of

      20      an excuse worthy of expression.

      21             Certainly, none would satisfy my residents.

      22             LIPA must commit to adopting a better

      23      communication system, and a system protocols, to

      24      deal with emergency management.

      25             In my village, as I'm sure was the case in so


       1      many villages and towns, our trustees, our emergency

       2      managers, our commissioners, our office staff, our

       3      security staff, our road crew, started preparing for

       4      "Irene" a week in advance of the storm reaching

       5      Long Island.

       6             In addition to readying vehicles, and making

       7      arrangements to move them to accessible higher

       8      ground, we purchased additional gas-powered saws,

       9      chains, ropes, lights, batteries, and radios.

      10             We also made plans to move our computers out

      11      of village hall.

      12             We activated our standing agreement with our

      13      local country club, putting their forces on call,

      14      and allowing us to engage the club's ground and

      15      maintenance staff immediately after the storm

      16      passed.

      17             We also put private tree services on alert,

      18      to ready them and their equipment if our personnel

      19      were in need of additional resources and support.

      20             And beyond this, walkie-talkies were

      21      purchased, and with street maps, they were

      22      distributed to our trustees and volunteers, to allow

      23      us to note and centrally process information about

      24      trees that were down, flooded conditions, power

      25      outages, and the like.


       1             In Hewlett Harbor, our roads were clear in

       2      hours, and our residents, many of whom evacuated the

       3      village, returned, for the most part, to an

       4      accessible functioning village, save one problem:

       5      As it turns out, LIPA was our weakest link.  Not

       6      because the power went off, but because, with all of

       7      our systems that were put in place, to support and

       8      communicate with our residents, LIPA seemed to have

       9      fallen off the grid.

      10             Were we perfect?  No.

      11             Could we do better?  Most definitely.

      12             Will we incorporate the key learnings from

      13      this storm into plans for the future?  Yes.

      14             Senators, this is what we are asking of LIPA:

      15             Senators, let's me recommend if I may, that

      16      you require LIPA to set up an ongoing citizens

      17      committee to help in the planning process.

      18             No one knows a community better than area

      19      residents and local business leaders and local

      20      government officials.  These people will be

      21      invaluable.

      22             I am sure each village and town will support

      23      this effort.

      24             And, I would also like to suggest that LIPA

      25      assign field representatives, people who will be on


       1      the streets, before and after a storm, to interface

       2      with villages throughout the Island.

       3             It is nice to have someone to talk to on the

       4      phone, but if one's complaints are not delivered to,

       5      and coordinated with, and by, a responsible field

       6      representative, who has a bird's-eye view of the

       7      situation on the ground, the functionality of the

       8      system is sure to be compromised.

       9             In my professional experience, customers are

      10      favorable to companies that acknowledge the

      11      existence of a problem, and work to satisfy their

      12      complaints.

      13             Over the next few months, LIPA will have an

      14      opportunity to fix the flaws in their

      15      emergency-preparedness program, and to get it right.

      16             As a result, I expect LIPA's customers, and

      17      their representatives, will be most appreciative and

      18      supported.

      19             I offer our village's support.

      20             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Thank you very much,

      21      Mayor.

      22             I just -- if I could ask you a quick

      23      question.

      24             One of the things, you talked about future

      25      planning.


       1             And one of the reasons why we didn't hold

       2      this hearing immediately, on top -- or, during the

       3      storm, or immediately after, is, we wanted to give

       4      some time to, basically, let the dust clear a little

       5      bit so we would have, you know, some clear thoughts,

       6      and we just get over some of the initial anger that

       7      was out there.

       8             Could the villages, like some do with police

       9      services, contract to a police entity?

      10             We have the old Brookville Police, for

      11      example, that service different villages, by

      12      contract.

      13             Could they service, could they form

      14      connections with private tree-trimming operations,

      15      so that they didn't have to bring them in one at a

      16      time?  Could they have them on contract, to -- on

      17      call, to come in?

      18             Would that be feasible to some of the

      19      villages, to get together?

      20             MAYOR MARK WEISS:  It's definitely feasible.

      21             I think it's up to each village to determine

      22      the assets that are available to them; those that

      23      are on staff, and those that are within the

      24      community.

      25             Three years ago, the village of


       1      Hewlett Harbor formed a written agreement with the

       2      Seawane Country Club, which is smack in the middle

       3      of our village.

       4             We noticed that they have very large

       5      vehicles, they have pay-loaders, they have people

       6      who know how to use equipment to cut down trees, and

       7      to help us to clean roads.

       8             We formed this agreement, and we've taken

       9      advantage of it, in three years, three times.

      10             The storm in March, which devastated

      11      Hewlett Harbor, was a great example of how well it

      12      worked.  And, we've employed it once again during

      13      "Irene."

      14             We -- I -- we also have relationships with

      15      several tree-pruning companies.  We contacted them

      16      prior to the storm.  We made them aware of the

      17      situation, and our potential need for them.

      18             They know the area very well.  They have

      19      equipment that can deal with the challenge.  And, we

      20      were on the phone with them on a regular basis.

      21             And they were, in fact, working to support

      22      our own crews, the country club's crews.  And, we

      23      brought them in as well.

      24             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  I appreciate that

      25      comment, especially with these -- some of the larger


       1      clubs that exist on the north shore, and various

       2      south-shore communities, that they could be

       3      utilized, because, I do know some of the villages

       4      are not all that big, and do not have a

       5      department of public works per se; or, maybe, have

       6      only an individual in the clerk's office to go out

       7      and assist in this kind of operation.

       8             So, that, perhaps getting together and

       9      forming some kind of joint relationship might help

      10      them in the future, coming in.

      11             I appreciate your testimony, and we thank you

      12      for your time.

      13             Any other questions?

      14             SENATOR FUSCHILLO:  Just a quick question.

      15             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Sure.

      16             SENATOR FUSCHILLO:  Mayor, thank you for your

      17      testimony.

      18             It seems you prepared to the best ability as

      19      you could.

      20             What has been your communication with LIPA in

      21      the aftermath?

      22             MAYOR MARK WEISS:  We had a contact, a

      23      personal contact, at LIPA, that was set up prior to

      24      the storm.  And, in fact, as you've heard from

      25      others, that worked well.


       1             The Village was able to get through to that

       2      person.

       3             It was everything else that failed.

       4             SENATOR FUSCHILLO:  Has the administration

       5      reached out to you since the storm and the

       6      aftermath, for coordination meetings,

       7      emergency-management meetings?

       8             MAYOR MARK WEISS:  Only the village and

       9      towns' meetings that they've set up.

      10             SENATOR FUSCHILLO:  Okay.  Thank you very

      11      much, Mayor.

      12             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Thank you once again.

      13             MAYOR MARK WEISS:  Thank you very much.

      14             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Our next speaker,

      15      Mayor James Altadonna, of the village of

      16      Massapequa Park.

      17             MAYOR JAMES ALTADONNA:  Good evening.

      18             I should say:  Good afternoon,

      19      Senator Carl Marcellino, and Senators.

      20             Thank you for having me, and thank you for

      21      having this hearing.

      22             We were equally as frustrated, as you've

      23      heard from other representatives speaking here

      24      today.

      25             And my goal today was to provide you with a


       1      microcosm of the days' events, and leading up to the

       2      storm, and after the storm.

       3             As you know, we were 90 percent affected.  We

       4      had no electrical power to 90 percent of our

       5      villages.

       6             So, if you indulge me, I would like to

       7      provide you with a microcosm of the events.

       8             We held a staff meeting on the morning of

       9      August 25th to advise employees of the coming storm.

      10      Employees were advised of the severity of the storm,

      11      and all the employees needed to prepare personally

      12      for the hurricane that was to be coming.

      13             Equipment was staged throughout locations in

      14      the village, to prevent the loss of equipment at any

      15      one location.

      16             On August 26th, at approximately 7 p.m., an

      17      Emergency Notification Announcement to all village

      18      residents was dispatched, advising residents to

      19      prepare for the storm, and provide them with contact

      20      information for fire, police, LIPA, and to let them

      21      know that Village Hall would be open and

      22      functioning, and to assure our residents that we

      23      were prepared.

      24             All employees were brought in at 12 midnight

      25      on Saturday, August 27th.  Last-minute preparations


       1      were made.

       2             Early in the morning, Sunday, August 28th,

       3      employees were dispatched, to survey and assess the

       4      damage from the storm.

       5             The central command center at the village was

       6      activated, and residents immediately began calling.

       7             Village crews went to work on clearing trees

       8      on emergency streets that were not entangled with

       9      wires.

      10             The village was divided into three sections.

      11             Crews were dispatched to clear roadways.  In

      12      addition, small truck were dispatched to clear

      13      smaller items from the streets.

      14             This action was taken to remove any

      15      impediments that may arise for fire, police, and,

      16      especially LIPA.

      17             Trees that were entangled with wires were

      18      called in to our LIPA emergency government lines.

      19             My initial contact was with

      20      Tracy Burgess Levy.  We relayed all pertinent

      21      information, including trees entangled with wires

      22      that were blocking our roadways.

      23             This was our first hint of trouble.

      24             I repeatedly asked, when we were going to see

      25      crews, and what information I could relay to our


       1      residents.

       2             She seemed overwhelmed at the amount of phone

       3      calls she was receiving from various municipalities,

       4      and unable to provide a response.

       5             On Monday morning, August 28th, after no

       6      response from LIPA, I began calling LIPA's municipal

       7      representatives for action.

       8             At this point, 90 percent of our village was

       9      without power.

      10             Again, in contacting LIPA, their response

      11      was, that they were directing crews to the

      12      hardest-hit areas.

      13             And I politely told them again, that

      14      90 percent of our village was out.  We had major

      15      access roads that were impassable, as well as

      16      multiple downed wires with electrical fires.  If

      17      this does not constitute a hard-hit area, I do not

      18      know what does.

      19             By mid-morning, my frustration level had

      20      peaked.  I began reaching out to other forms of

      21      government for support.

      22             I called Governor Cuomo's Office, as well as

      23      Senator Chuck Fuschillo.

      24             And I would like the record to reflect, that

      25      Senator Fuschillo stepped in and made calls.  And,


       1      it was after those phone calls that we started to

       2      receive some limited response from LIPA.

       3             At this point, we received that call from

       4      Lillian Manjarrez of LIPA.  We again relayed to her

       5      all the previous information that was relayed to

       6      LIPA government contacts.

       7             Again, all day Monday, August 29th, no LIPA

       8      crews were available in Massapequa Park.

       9             On Tuesday morning, August 30, 2011, I was

      10      advised that a LIPA crew was on O'Connell Street.

      11             The Village Administrator was dispatched to

      12      find that crew.

      13             An employee by the name of Ron Noone -- and I

      14      would like to be on record, the employees of LIPA

      15      and National Grid did an incredible job under the

      16      circumstances -- a name, Ron Noone, from LIPA,

      17      provided assistance and information.  He was present

      18      to ascertain the situation on O'Connell Street, but,

      19      initially, had no plans to clear it.

      20             Once it was determined that the electric was

      21      off, he did, in fact, have his tree crew clear the

      22      tree -- clear the wires from the tree.

      23             Village staff immediately went to work.

      24             The administrators -- at the Administrator's

      25      insistence, he was asked to go to Willow Street and


       1      Lake Shore, which is a major thoroughfare in our

       2      village.

       3             Again, he ascertained that the wires were not

       4      live, and we went to work, and we cleared that main

       5      northwest -- I'm sorry, north-south thoroughfare.

       6             Although extremely helpful, he advised us

       7      that he had to move to other areas.

       8             Again, after some convincing, he determined

       9      that other areas, two other blocks were safe, and

      10      that the Village was able to clear those streets.

      11             After numerous calls and demands for action,

      12      a dedicated crew arrived at Village Hall on

      13      Wednesday morning.  That crew, headed again by

      14      Ron Noone, worked in conjunction with the

      15      Superintendent of Public Works, and began clearing

      16      trees from roads and wires.

      17             And I would say, Wednesday, was the first day

      18      we had manpower to, actually, effectively create --

      19      effectively improve the situation in

      20      Massapequa Park.

      21             The Village continued with its three crews,

      22      and brought in an outside contractor, as the --

      23      Senator Carl Marcellino had suggested -- outside

      24      contractor to provide crews to continue to clear

      25      trees and clean up roads.


       1             I was giving -- at that point, Wednesday, I

       2      was given a contact, Joseph Cicalo, director of

       3      construction delivery, who was able to provide

       4      updates, and attempts to advise us when electrical

       5      power was restored to our village.

       6             It was not until late Friday that the village

       7      residents had been restored with power.

       8             In conclusion to "Tropical Storm Irene",

       9      which was not as strong as predicted, thank God, we

      10      determined that there were three facets that needed

      11      to be addressed by LIPA.

      12             First, and foremost:  Their preparedness.

      13             We felt that they were not prepared.  Assets

      14      were not deployed throughout the county.  And, it

      15      took too long to mobilize and to respond.

      16             Second:  LIPA's assessment.

      17             If they would embed with the villages and

      18      towns, their assessment would have been much easier.

      19             Third:  Reconstruction, which should have

      20      two separate, distinct components.

      21             One should be, clearing roads of trees, and

      22      determining wires that are live or dead;

      23             And, then, the second component should be,

      24      the opening or the electrical restoration.

      25             But, to do two in the same, as we see, takes


       1      too long.

       2             I would like to thank you for the opportunity

       3      to address the Standing Committee on Investigation

       4      and Government Operations.

       5             And, I welcome any of your questions.

       6             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Well, Mayor, thank you

       7      very much for coming.  And, I appreciate your

       8      testimony.  It will be, obviously, part of the

       9      record when we prepare our report on this issue,

      10      going forward.

      11             Just a quick question:  Did you -- it's the

      12      same question I asked Mayor Weiss.

      13             Did you find any first responder -- police

      14      department, police substations, fire departments --

      15      without power?

      16             MAYOR JAMES ALTADONNA:  We were on generator

      17      power.

      18             The Massapequa Park firehouse was on

      19      generator power.

      20             The most significant event in our village,

      21      was, we had, literally, downed wires that were live,

      22      with fires.

      23             And, in calling in those calls to LIPA, as

      24      long as it was not going to cause fire to a home,

      25      they felt it wasn't a priority.


       1             We were actually staffing code enforcers, on

       2      blocks, to prevent children and individuals from

       3      walking down those blocks while these transformers

       4      and wires were live.

       5             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Senator Fuschillo.

       6             SENATOR FUSCHILLO:  Mayor, just a quick

       7      comment.

       8             Thanks very much for taking the time to be

       9      here.

      10             MAYOR JAMES ALTADONNA:  No problem.

      11             SENATOR FUSCHILLO:  I shared your frustration

      12      all week long, when you and I were communicating

      13      quite often --

      14             MAYOR JAMES ALTADONNA:  Right.

      15             SENATOR FUSCHILLO:  -- due to the lack of

      16      response, or I should say, a lack of communication,

      17      as to whether or not somebody would be in your

      18      village.

      19             MAYOR JAMES ALTADONNA:  Yes.

      20             SENATOR FUSCHILLO:  And to hear from you,

      21      repeatedly, every day, that 90 percent of the

      22      homeowners that you represent, you and I both

      23      represent, was inexcusable.

      24             I thank you for your efforts.

      25             MAYOR JAMES ALTADONNA:  Thank you.


       1             SENATOR FUSCHILLO:  One question, and I've

       2      asked the previous speakers:  In the aftermath, have

       3      you had any communication from LIPA with respect to

       4      coordination of any type of meeting?

       5             MAYOR JAMES ALTADONNA:  I have had one

       6      communication with them, that they were going to

       7      hold a town-hall meeting for mayors.

       8             Unfortunately, they scheduled it the same

       9      night of the NCVOA of Nassau County, so, I did send

      10      a representative in my place.

      11             SENATOR FUSCHILLO:  Thank you, Mayor.

      12             I appreciate you being here.

      13             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Assemblyman Ra.

      14             ASSEMBLYMAN RA:  Mayor, one quick question.

      15             MAYOR JAMES ALTADONNA:  Sure.

      16             ASSEMBLYMAN RA:  And I thank, you, and

      17      Mayor Weiss, for being here, because, as

      18      Senator Martins had highlighted earlier, the

      19      coordination with our real local governments was

      20      certainly very lacking here.

      21             My question was:  You talked about that

      22      Tuesday morning when you were advised about the LIPA

      23      crew that had -- that was on O'Connell Street.

      24             Had you received any prior communication from

      25      LIPA, or anything directly from them, letting you


       1      know there would be a crew in the area so that you

       2      could coordinate with your village crews that needed

       3      to be there as well?

       4             MAYOR JAMES ALTADONNA:  No, our residents are

       5      pretty resourceful.  So, it was a resident that

       6      called it in.

       7             And, as soon as we found out that there was a

       8      truck, we immediately went to meet them.

       9             We -- you know, we were -- that's the way we

      10      communicated with LIPA.

      11             ASSEMBLYMAN RA:  Thank you.

      12             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Thank you very much for

      13      your testimony.  Appreciate it.

      14             Just so that we put on the record:  I did

      15      make, and my staff did make, outreach to the

      16      Suffolk County Executive's Office, to come and

      17      testify, and present a statement.

      18             We were declined, that testimony.

      19             Our next speaker, just to give you a

      20      perspective of a business person on the Island, and

      21      how that particular individual was able to operate

      22      under the circumstances of the outage, is a

      23      gentleman by the name of Mark Gelish.

      24             Mark is the owner of Mac's Steak House in

      25      Huntington.


       1             Mr. Gelish.

       2             MARK GELISH:  Good morning.

       3             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Good afternoon.

       4             MARK GELISH:  Good afternoon.

       5             My name is Mark Gelish.  I'm the owner of

       6      Mac's Steak House, in -- 12 Gerard Street,

       7      Huntington, New York.

       8             I would like to describe my experience with

       9      "Tropical Storm Irene," and my experience with the

      10      response of LIPA.

      11             Upon Sunday morning, I arrived at

      12      Mac's Steak House.  The eye of the storm was upon

      13      us.

      14             Mac's, at that point, had no power, but the

      15      cross-street did have electric, of New York Avenue

      16      and Gerard.

      17             At about 10 a.m., the immediate area around

      18      Mac's Steak House --

      19             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Just to point out,

      20      Route 1 -- that's Route 110 --

      21             MARK GELISH:  Route 110.

      22             Yes, sir.

      23             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  -- is New York Avenue.

      24      So, it's a major north-south thoroughfare.

      25             MARK GELISH:  Around 10 a.m., the electric


       1      was out in the whole immediate area of

       2      Mac's Steak House.

       3             The first 24 hours were uneventful.

       4             Monday, I woke up in the restaurant, and was

       5      pleased to see that the electric had been put on

       6      everywhere that I could visibly see, except for,

       7      Mac's Steak House.

       8             Monday day, we at Mac's went into a rescue

       9      mode.  We set up electric with generators.

      10             We figured that the electric would be on any

      11      time, and all we tried to do is maintain the

      12      temperatures of the fresh food and the wine

      13      inventory.

      14             We also tried to monitor response of LIPA,

      15      with radio, Internet, and phone calls.

      16             At around 3 p.m., I was lucky enough to reach

      17      a LIPA operator.

      18             This was an extremely frustrating event.

      19             In summary:  I was trying to explain to her

      20      that the outage at our area was a technical event

      21      and not a physical issue.

      22             The operator seemed to want to taunt me, with

      23      comments like:

      24             "I don't care.  My house doesn't have

      25      electric either."


       1             "I will not write down this issue, because we

       2      don't know where the trucks are."

       3             "We don't know.  Could be weeks, could be

       4      hours, before we get there."

       5             "You have insurance, don't you?"

       6             And, "We are working 24 hours a day."

       7             Resigned to the fact that I wasn't going to

       8      get anywhere, I slept at Mac's from 6 p.m. to

       9      10 p.m.  I went home to shower, and look up my

      10      status on the LIPA Web page.

      11             The status -- and I paraphrase -- was

      12      "assessing and responding."

      13             With that, I was excited.

      14             I went back to Huntington, to see how close

      15      the truck were to Mac's.

      16             I drove around for two hours.  Could not find

      17      a working crew anywhere.

      18             I proceeded to go in a five-mile circle of

      19      Mac's Steak House, and I gave up my search at about

      20      1:15 a.m. Tuesday morning.

      21             5 a.m., I called emergency number again, and

      22      there was nothing new on the recordings.

      23             At 8 a.m. I called again, and there was -- it

      24      stated that there was a service ticket that went out

      25      at 7 a.m.


       1             With that, I stayed outside the restaurant

       2      for the next 24 hours, monitoring the cross-street

       3      of New York, which is Route 110, and Gerard.

       4             At about 9 p.m., I saw a LIPA truck, and with

       5      my excitement, I went into the street to greet them

       6      like a liberator.

       7             He informed me that he wasn't there for me,

       8      but that he was only on his way home.

       9             The next -- the following events happened

      10      over the next hour and a half:

      11             He informed me, that the crews were working

      12      until dusk, but they got paid until 10 p.m.

      13             That, the trucks were all up on the north

      14      shore roads because they were devastated.

      15             He said, and I quote, "It look like a war

      16      zone."

      17             He was generally upset with my situation, and

      18      he decided to take time out of his day, to go up and

      19      down the street and look at the wires, to see if he

      20      could find the issue.

      21             Upon his inspection, he said that the problem

      22      was a transformer that was open.  It just needed to

      23      be closed.

      24             He then proceeded to tell me he would do his

      25      best to dispatch -- to get to dispatch, and to send


       1      a crew first thing Wednesday morning.

       2             He would not touch anything, however, that

       3      night, because -- even though I begged him.  He

       4      cited safety of other LIPA workers as the reason he

       5      wouldn't touch it.

       6             Wednesday morning that subcontractor called

       7      me.  He explained his conversation with the

       8      Green Lawn dispatcher.  And, he gave -- and he said

       9      I would be in the thoughts and prayers.

      10             He said he did the best he could.

      11             Around 9 a.m., I tracked down another

      12      subcontractor on Wall Street, which is approximately

      13      one block from Mac's.  They were in a small pickup,

      14      and they seemed to be doing site evaluations.

      15             I thought they were there to inspect my

      16      plight.  And, as cordial as they were, they also

      17      portrayed the incompetency of the LIPA response.

      18             And, here's a few of those excerpts:

      19             They told me that they needed to get the

      20      water station up for the sewage, and, so, they were

      21      holding back some electric.

      22             With that I asked:  Well, why was the

      23      electric around the sewer, restaurants, and retail

      24      working, and not where I was?

      25             They again told me that LIPA had no clue


       1      where their trucks were.  And, that they would also

       2      not come 100 yards from where they were to see why I

       3      didn't have electric.

       4             At 2 p.m. that day, Wednesday, I spoke to a

       5      LIPA representative.  This time it was a supervisor

       6      who would only identify herself as "Linda."

       7             Linda was very courteous, and equally

       8      incompetent.

       9             She stated, at this point, she would write

      10      down my issue, but still could not send an e-mail or

      11      call a dispatcher, but, that -- so, maybe next time,

      12      they could avoid some of this type of issue to

      13      happen.

      14             Linda kept me on the phone for 15 minutes.

      15      And I think, at that point, it was because I was

      16      truly defeated, and I was very amenable and not

      17      hostile to her.

      18             At 5 p.m. that day, with great amount of

      19      resentment, I spoke to my insurance adjustor.  And

      20      we decided, at this point, the products had been

      21      compromised, and we needed to go, from rescue, to

      22      recovery mode.

      23             We then proceeded to throw out all of fresh

      24      food, and document what we threw out.

      25             Again, I stayed at Mac's until about 6 a.m.


       1      No electric.

       2             At this point, we got ready for a re-opening

       3      mode.  We called all of our vendors, to get opening

       4      orders, just to get ready.

       5             Electric was restored around 10:20 a.m.  And

       6      with a great amount of effort, we opened up Thursday

       7      night with about 80 percent of our menu.

       8             Here are a few of my concerns for this panel.

       9             Number one:  How could the powers to be have

      10      so much to say about the public being prepared,

      11      which the public did, and then not prepare

      12      themselves?

      13             Number two:  How could the recovery response

      14      be so incompetent and so uncoordinated?

      15             Dominoes can tell you the status of your

      16      pizza delivery, with a part-timer 19-year-old

      17      executing the baking, and a 19-year-old executing

      18      the delivery.

      19             And, LIPA, a well-class utility, having no

      20      control, and repeatedly saying, they have no idea

      21      where the trucks.

      22             The lack of some sort of analytical

      23      decision-making process at LIPA, to the fact that

      24      100 trucks were put on streets where the devastation

      25      was, and I can appreciate that, but, that they


       1      didn't decide to put one bucket in the business

       2      districts, just to fix the little bit of problems

       3      that mine was, and some of the other restaurants in

       4      Huntington were.

       5             And then, of course, the decision-making

       6      process, that they leave businesses hostage to them,

       7      and let other businesses thrive, during their

       8      self-inflicted crisis.

       9             And, lastly:  The audacity of them, to use

      10      insurance as part of the consoling process of the

      11      business plight.

      12             Insurance is for emergencies, not for utility

      13      incompetency.

      14             In conclusion:  I would like to thank you,

      15      Senator Marcellino.

      16             Your staff did show genuine concern, and

      17      follow-up, during the whole time of this crisis.

      18      They also seemed to try to fix the issue.

      19             I hope, that instead of pointing finkers --

      20      fingers, excuse me, LIPA re-evaluates the system,

      21      and starts, works, to recreate an effective mature

      22      and -- response to the next emergency.

      23             Thank you for your time.

      24             Thank you all.



       1             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  All right, thank you

       2      very much, and I appreciate your time coming in.

       3             I wanted you to come in, and let the -- for

       4      the record, just to be here; that, the plight of a

       5      business person out there, trying to do business.

       6             A lot of restaurants, as you well know, were

       7      feeding people; because, they had no power, they

       8      couldn't cook, they couldn't take care of

       9      themselves.  They were using the restaurants as a

      10      place to just get warm food for their families.

      11             MARK GELISH:  Uh-huh.

      12             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  So, it is important

      13      to --

      14             What was the total number of -- what was the

      15      total amount of your loss?

      16             MARK GELISH:  So far, we have four claims.

      17             The food inventory was 18,000;

      18             Business loss is still being negotiated;

      19             A stereo system, which is nobody's fault, is

      20      somewhere between two and five thousand;

      21             And, last, I have antique wines that we have

      22      to go through, that might have been compromised.  If

      23      it was all of it, which I don't think it will be, it

      24      will be about $14,000.

      25             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Wow.


       1             Thank you very much, Mark.

       2             Appreciate your time.

       3             MARK GELISH:  Thank you, guys.

       4             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Our next speaker will be

       5      the business representative of the

       6      International Brotherhood of Electric Workers

       7      Local 1049, James Brown.

       8             Mr. Brown.

       9             MARK BROWN:  Mr. Chairman,

      10      Senator Marcellino; Senator Fuschillo, all our

      11      elected representatives, and all those in

      12      attendance:  My name is Jim Brown.  I'm a business

      13      representative with IBEW Local Union 1049.

      14             I'm here representing business manager,

      15      Bob Shand.  Unavoidably, he's away on IBEW business,

      16      and is unable to attend.

      17             He has asked that I read his statement, and

      18      make it available for the record, and answer any

      19      questions to the best of my ability.

      20             "Chairman Marcellino, Senator Fuschillo,

      21      members of the Committee, and all elected

      22      Representatives present:  As the proud manager of

      23      3,500 IBEW men and women who diligently and expertly

      24      provide electric and gas service for our friends and

      25      neighbors on Long Island, I want to thank you for


       1      taking the time to examine the efforts made while

       2      restoring service to the 523,000 customers who lost

       3      their power as a result of 'Hurricane Irene.'

       4             "First, and foremost, Local 1049 is committed

       5      to working with your Committee, our government

       6      agencies, LIPA, and National Grid, to provide the

       7      best service and storm response possible.

       8             "The record will indicate that electric

       9      customers on Long Island enjoy the highest electric

      10      reliability and the shortest outage time of any

      11      overhead utility in New York State.  This is for,

      12      both, storm- and non-storm-related events.

      13             "This is not to indicate we are satisfied.

      14             "We strive every day to be better, and hope

      15      that the storm-review process will provide

      16      additional safe and expedient solutions to restore

      17      power after these types of events.

      18             "I would like to point out, that our members'

      19      average age is a little over 48 years, and it is not

      20      unusual for members to have 30 or 40 years of

      21      service to our community.

      22             "Our experience can be a valuable resource to

      23      your Committee, should you desire.

      24             "While I know that some of you may take

      25      exception to the response to 'Hurricane Irene,'


       1      I would like to discuss some of the extraordinary

       2      efforts made during restoration.

       3             "All vacation and scheduled days off were

       4      canceled prior to the event.

       5             "All personnel were staged and prepared in

       6      advance of the storm.

       7             "There were mandatory 16-hour shifts around

       8      the clock, seven days a week, in advance, during,

       9      and subsequent to the storm.  And, in some

      10      departments, these shifts lasted for six or

      11      seven days after all customers were restored.

      12             "16-hour shifts, commuting to and from work,

      13      allow little time for much-needed sleep after

      14      performing this hard and dangerous work.

      15             "Just examining the numbers, 50 percent of us

      16      were going home, to dark homes and cold showers,

      17      too.

      18             "Yes, we live here.  Long Island is our home,

      19      also.

      20             "We are not complaining.  We are proud and

      21      privileged to serve our community.

      22             "I personally began my career with then-LILCO

      23      in 1973, initially, as an apprentice lineman;

      24      subsequently, as a substation technician.

      25             "For the last 20 years, I have been a


       1      business representative with IBEW Local Union 1049,

       2      representing members who work for the utility.

       3             "I believe this combination of experience, of

       4      over 39 years, provides a unique perspective for

       5      evaluating the storm restoration.

       6             "I have worked, and been an integral part of,

       7      ice storms, heat and lightening storms, tropical

       8      storms, and hurricanes, and I remain unaware of any

       9      authority that delineates as to what is an adequate

      10      or excellent number of customers to restore each and

      11      every day.

      12             "The restoration is a function of the damage

      13      to the system, and the right number of workers with

      14      the appropriate skills.

      15             "Is, two days, five days, or seven days, too

      16      long?

      17             "I'm sure we all feel two hours is too long,

      18      but, I am unaware of no process that restores

      19      523,000 customers that effectively and safely.

      20             "As you would guess, I am very proud of the

      21      work done by the men and women of IBEW Local 1049.

      22             "I also wanted to give thanks and praise to

      23      all 7,500 men and women, who sacrificed, and gave

      24      their best efforts, during this time.

      25             "I had the opportunity to observe many facets


       1      of the restoration effort.  Those by my members, the

       2      contractors who traveled here, and the National Grid

       3      management team.  Their dedication to restoring

       4      Long Island was extraordinary.

       5             "A special recognition should go to

       6      National Grid president, John Bruckner, who led the

       7      effort of what became several battalions of men and

       8      women.  His leadership during this difficult time

       9      was as professional as I have witnessed in my

      10      39 years of storm restoration.

      11             "Lastly, I would also request, that, through

      12      our efforts, we can come up with a message, asking

      13      customers to remain calm, provide support to the

      14      restoration effort, and come together as a

      15      community, during these difficult times."

      16             Thank you.

      17             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Thanks for your

      18      testimony, Mr. Gelish.

      19             And, I do appreciate your remarks.

      20             And, I do appreciate, as it, I said earlier,

      21      and I think you heard it from just about every

      22      member of the panel, we appreciate the work of the

      23      crews in the field.  We appreciate the fact that

      24      they were out there on under very difficult

      25      circumstances.


       1             I agree with you; there's no way to say,

       2      that, four, five, six, seven days, is an appropriate

       3      response for half a million people out of power, or

       4      half a million households out of power.

       5             It depends on the nature of the outage, it

       6      depends upon the nature of the units that are out,

       7      and the complexity of the hook-up system.

       8             We understand all of that.

       9             We also -- it depends upon the timing when

      10      streets could be cleared appropriately.

      11             But, I think that you heard here today, a

      12      complaint on the communication between LIPA, Grid,

      13      and its customers.

      14             That's a problem.

      15             I also heard, from testimony, and I think you

      16      heard it, too, because you were here, that there was

      17      a complaint about the communication between the

      18      central headquarters and the workers in the field,

      19      and vice versa.

      20             I was told by a LIPA representative, on the

      21      phone, that the backyard of the household that I was

      22      standing in, had been given power earlier that day.

      23             In fact, they had not.

      24             In fact, there hadn't been a crew on that

      25      road to address their household.


       1             And there had been many calls from, both, the

       2      customer and my own office, to LIPA's phone system.

       3             How would you address the communication

       4      between your people, who are on the ground, doing

       5      the best they could, under difficult circumstances?

       6             But, still, how is the communication between

       7      your field people and the main office?

       8             MARK BROWN:  I personally didn't have any

       9      interaction at that time.

      10             Even though the members that I represent, the

      11      gas group, we go out and do two-man restoration, to

      12      assist the regular electric crews at the time, I'm

      13      sure that they functioned as they normally would,

      14      through our dispatch system.

      15             Just, once again, overwhelmed by the quantity

      16      of outages, and the damage, that occurred, as was

      17      represented by Mr. Bruckner, you have to start at

      18      one end, and get -- to get to the other end.

      19             How the communication went?  I'm sure that

      20      local 1049 will do everything in its power to assist

      21      LIPA, National Grid, and your Committee, or any

      22      other governmental agency, to make it function in a

      23      better manner.

      24             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  I appreciate that.

      25             And I appreciate your time, and the


       1      testimony.

       2             And, again, I appreciate the efforts of your

       3      workers, that you represent.  Of the workers that

       4      you represent, they did yeoman's work.

       5             Once sent to the places of -- most people

       6      were saying:  Well, once they got here, we had --

       7      they did their job, and they did it quickly, and

       8      they did it well.

       9             I didn't get any complaint on that level.

      10             We did get complaints, as I said, on the

      11      communication system, and whatever.

      12             Again, I thank you for your time, and I thank

      13      you for your testimony.

      14             I will be forwarding -- that's the last

      15      testifier in this series.

      16             I thank my colleague for coming and being

      17      here, and listening and, asking questions.

      18             We will be forwarding on to the Governor, a

      19      letter.

      20             We'll copy LIPA and Grid, as to what it says.

      21      But, we're going to ask them to, basically, hold in

      22      abeyance, any reference, or any recommendation, on

      23      contract between LIPA and Grid, until, and when, a

      24      full independent review of the operation and the

      25      response to "Irene" is completed.


       1             We don't have that done.

       2             And I don't trust -- this is my own personal

       3      thing -- I just don't trust the fox to look at the

       4      security system in the hen house.

       5             We're not going to deal with that.

       6             I want somebody, outside; I want a

       7      professional group, come in.  And I want a full

       8      review of the system, and a full review of this

       9      so-called "twenty-first century communication

      10      system," which, as you've heard, over and over

      11      again, from testifier after testifier, failed.

      12             Absolutely failed.

      13             That is the only way you could describe it.

      14             It didn't work.

      15             I don't know why.  I'm not an expert, but I'm

      16      going to find out.

      17             And I don't want decisions being made, one,

      18      as to who's going to head LIPA; or, who's going to

      19      be contracted to perform the service, and manage

      20      your personnel, the workers, until we get that

      21      review.

      22             They're just going to have to wait until we

      23      get that review.

      24             And I'm going to urge the Governor to set one

      25      up as expeditiously as possible, so that we can make


       1      this review done -- get it done, until we get some

       2      answers to the questions.

       3             Because, as you heard here, the testimony

       4      between -- and the written testimony, if you read

       5      both Grid's and LIPA's written testimony -- we

       6      didn't get LIPA's until this morning.  We had Grid's

       7      yesterday, in advance, and we were able to read that

       8      ahead of time -- in fact, they contradict each

       9      other.  They don't -- they don't match.

      10             And, that's not the way it should be.  They

      11      should be in sync.

      12             They're not.

      13             So, we're going to need answers.

      14             Again, I thank all the people who testified,

      15      for their efforts, and their time.  And we

      16      appreciated their testimony.

      17             And, my colleagues, again, thank you once

      18      again.

      19             The meeting of this committee is adjourned.

      20                  (Whereupon, at 12:48 p.m., the public

      21        hearing, held before the New York State Senate

      22        Standing Committee on Investigations and

      23        Government Operations, concluded.)