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Northeast Queens Pols Call for Investigations Into Hurricane Sandy Response

Avella, Weprin say residents in their district have been left without power for days in wake of the storm.

State Sen. Tony Avella, D-Bayside, and City Councilman Mark Weprin, D-Oakland Gardens, are calling for investigations into public utilities’ response to Hurricane Sandy in northeast Queens.

Avella has written a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo in which he called for Con Edison and LIPA to be “held accountable” for their performance in restoring power to residents affected by last week’s storm. The senator wrote that, as of Thursday, a number of residents across the five boroughs are still without power and heat.

“While I am very aware of the daunting task facing these public utilities in the wake of this devastating storm, it remains completely unacceptable that there continue to be so many people still suffering with no power and no heat in temperatures that have dropped to 32 degrees or lower in the past several days,” Avella wrote.

The senator said the response from the public utilities has been “organized” and “slower than necessary.”

In a press release, Con Edison said it has so far restored power to 900,000 customers.

At a Community Board 11 meeting earlier this week, Councilman Dan Halloran, R-Whitestone, said that an estimated 7,500 homes and businesses were still without power.

Weprin has called on the City Council to conduct hearings on the city’s response following Hurricane Sandy. He said seniors had been without electricity and heat, large trees had fallen into homes in his district and gas station lines had been hours long.

“Our community was very patient, but we were kept in the dark too long and we want answers,” Weprin said. “In order to deal with situations like Sandy, there is a need to assess what went right, what went wrong and whom should be held accountable.” 

David R. Yale November 09, 2012 at 09:09 PM
Brownie -- er, Bloomie, you're doing a heck of a job!
max November 10, 2012 at 01:58 PM
Another investigation into a failure. Time and again we fail to be proactive. The government at all levels is reactive. When things go poorly there is always a committee formed to investigate the problem. The politicians end up investigating themselves and their failures. If an employee does not preform their job functions they are terminated. Politicians should be held to the same standard. They should be held accountable and terminated based on the results of their investigation. There is nothing wrong with a midterm election. Maybe they will finally get the point and do their jobs.
Austin Walker November 11, 2012 at 12:24 AM
How can we be prepared for a storm that takes out thousands and thousands of square miles and effects millions of people? You simply can't. While I do agree that the response was lacking from unaffected states and the military, I am unconvinced that even with what could be called a proper response we would have still not found it lacking. Regards, Austin Walker http://www.compassroseacademy.org/
max November 11, 2012 at 03:14 AM
You stage your resources in proximity to the incident. You have your human resources staged and situated. There was enough lead time. FEMA was late to the party. There were not enough replacement poles in stock at the power companies. LIPA did not contract for sufficent outside help. All you had were politicians fighting for TV time making promises they could not keep. They then got in their helicopters and abandoned their citizens. It should not take a week to aid these victims. Then FEMA closes down for a day due to 4 inches of snow. They have never justified their existence.

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