LIPA workers defend pace of power restoration

Amid cries of outrage from residents who remain without power, Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) crews say they are putting in long hours in an effort to have electricity restored as soon as possible.

On 17th Street in Deer Park, people have been in the dark since Sunday because of a tree that toppled onto a wire and snapped the utility pole, bringing down electric, cable and phone lines.

LIPA foreman Wayne Stelter says some jobs, such as the one in Deer Park, are not as simple as flipping a switch. In order to restore power, Stelter says branches must be cleared away first, and wires have to be sorted and spliced before they can be energized.

He says what people don't understand is that Tropical Storm Irene did a lot of damage to main lines that feed neighborhoods. Once these repairs are done, smaller areas can be serviced.

The painstaking process of getting the lights back on also involves protecting workers who have been putting in 16-hour days from high-voltage wires.

LIPA: Irene damage more severe than initial estimatesLIPA: 90 percent of customers will have power by FridayCuomo: NY outages could last daysLIPA press conference on Irene recovery

MyPics: Hurricane Irene on Long Island

Report an outage to LIPA onlineLIPA Outage MapLIPA FAQ on Irene DamageDisasterAssistance.gov1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY)

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