As Hurricane Irene was being downgraded to a tropical storm, the impact from the severe weather event has caused numerous power outages across Long Island.
Long Island Power Authority is reporting 352,456 customers without power as of 9:15 a.m. Sunday due to weather-related causes, with widespread outages reported across Long Island.
Vanessa Baird-Streeter, a spokeswoman for LIPA, said the overall number of outages reported is misleading as the utility company was authorized by County Executive Steve Levy to de-energize 4,615 customers on Fire Island, Gilgo Beach, Captree and Robert Moses areas.
Of the remaining electrical outages, large area outages exist on Long Island in the following areas:
- Town of Babylon: 29,807
- Town of Brookhaven: 42,565
- Town of East Hampton: 3,021
- Town of Hempstead: 72,106
- Town of Huntington: 39,560
- Town of Islip: 25,315
- Town of North Hempstead: 38,557
- Town of Oyster Bay: 42,637
- Town of Riverhead: 8,869
- Shelter Island: 2,006
- Town of Smithtown: 25,430
- Town of Southampton: 17,286
LIPA’s spokeswoman said restoring power to those affected customers is a two-part process. A survey team is first sent out to the area of the reported outage to determine the extent of the damage and the action needed. Then, LIPA can send out a restoration team with the necessary tools and give a time estimate.
The utility company has on standby to restore power outages during and after the hurricane.
However, the storm's strong winds can delay restoration efforts and cause prolonged outages.
“When winds are 50 mph or more, we can’t send workers out in bucket trucks to restore power. We have to wait until winds die down as the winds present unsafe conditions for our workers,” Baird-Streeter said.
Critical care centers – hospitals, nursing homes and emergency shelters - are given top priority when determining where to restore power.
Residents can visit LIPA’s Storm Center, to report an outage or view a map of outages across Long Island.
LIPA's also has an Outage Hotline at 1-800-490-0075 if electricity is lost. LIPA’s spokeswoman said to leave a phone number and ask for a call back to receive notification of when power will be returned.