Questions regarding power outages and storm related outages.
- What causes power outages?
- Do I have to tell LIPA that my power is out?
- How does weather affect power lines?
- Why doesn't LIPA put all its power lines underground?
- What do I do with my food after an extended power outage?
- What is LIPA's restoration process?
- What about Critical Care Customers?
What causes power outages?
A power outage occurs anytime there is a loss of electricity; momentarily or for a longer period of time. The top causes of power outages in our area are:
- Storms (lightning, high winds, ice, snow and rain)
- Trees and branches (contacting electric lines)
- Animal contact with wires/equipment
- Accidents (cars hitting poles)
- Equipment failure (from corrosion, wear and aging parts)
- Protective relay equipment on our power lines that work like the circuit breakers in your home and safely and automatically cuts off power.
Automatically shutting off the power means everyone who is fed electricity by that part of the network loses power. Once we locate the cause of the power outage, many customers can be restored to service even as repairs are being completed.
Do I have to tell LIPA that my power is
We always encourage you to contact us when your power is out. In many cases, we may already know about your outage, but contacting us helps to ensure that we can then follow-up with you about our progress and confirm with you that your power has been restored.
You have several options for reporting an outage to us:
If you ever see any downed wire, stay away from it, and please call 911 or LIPA at 800-490-0075 immediately.
How does weather affect power lines?
Long Island is surrounded by water and has many wooded areas. Many of our established neighborhoods have large trees planted years – even decades – ago that now envelope the power lines. This puts our electric system at risk for storms and damage caused by falling branches and trees.
Storms can wreak havoc on our electric system. Because Long Island has so many trees growing near power lines, ice, wind, and heavy rain can make tree branches sag or fall on LIPA wires causing power outages.
Why doesn't LIPA put all its power lines
Placing electric wires underground would reduce the total numbers of outages, but at a very high cost to customers. Such a massive project would take over 30 years to complete at an estimated cost of $25 billion. In addition, problems with underground cables take two to three times longer to locate and repair than overhead wires. Where practical, we do install underground cable in new housing developments.
What do I do with my food after an extended
Please visit our Food Preservation section.