UNIONDALE - The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) is gearing up for Hurricane Irene, which forecasters say could be felt locally later this week.

As News 12 Long Island has reported, LIPA came under fire last year for spending more than $34 million to prepare for Hurricane Earl, only to have the storm bypass the area by a long shot. However, many residents say being ready is worth the wasted funds.

According to LIPA Spokesperson Vanessa Baird, tomorrow will be a critical day in deciding how the company prepares and what resources it will need.

Irene is already being blamed for one death in Puerto Rico, and President Barack Obama has signed an emergency declaration to provide federal disaster assistance there.

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