Storm Restoration Process
As a major storm approaches our area, LIPA’s emergency response plans are activated. Nearly all of our employees turn from their regular jobs to help restore electricity to our customers. When necessary, we’re prepared to also bring in contractors and workers from other utilities to supplement our crews and speed up the repair effort. Assessment of damage is an ongoing effort during and after the storm. Our emergency response is a 24/7 operation until power is restored to every customer affected.
When power is out to thousands, or even tens of thousands of customers, it is impossible to get power back to everyone at once. The main goal is to restore power safely to the greatest number of customers in the shortest time possible.
- Materials and manpower are deployed in coordination with tree crews
- The major cause of outages is damage caused by fallen trees
- Assessment of damage is an ongoing effort during and after the storm
Our Power Restoration Process
HIGH-VOLTAGE TRANSMISSION & SUBSTATIONS
First we must repair any damage to the high-voltage transmission wires and substations that receive power directly from power plants. Transmission lines and substations supply power to neighborhoods and must be repaired first before customers can be restored.
Critical or vital public
Next, critical or vital public services are given priority. These services include: Hospitals and Nursing Homes, Jails, Police and Fire Facilities, Water Pumping Stations, Evacuation Centers, etc.
As many customers as possible
Following the restoration of critical services, we then focus on repairs that will get power back to as many customers as possible. This means a repair that will restore power to 1,000 customers will be given priority over one that would restore electricity to 100 customers.
individual homes & businesses
We will continue to restore power to smaller neighborhoods and individual homes and businesses day and night until everyone has power back on.
Large storms often impact the tri-state region:
- Large storms, such as hurricanes, can impact the entire east coast of the US – and beyond making the request for help from off-island resources more challenging.
- Neighboring utilities often cannot release crews – they are looking for help, too
- Assistance must travel long distances in bucket trucks. In Tropical Storm Irene, crews from as far away as Texas and Illinois participated in restoration.
Some existing field conditions add to complex restoration:
- Access to rear property poles.
- Debris from trees and other objects. Trees often have to be cut away and downed poles removed in order to even begin restoration.
- Equipment must be manually brought in, thus extending restoration times.
- Working safe! Areas sometimes must be de-energized in order to ensure safety to field crews. Additionally, crews work 16-hour shifts and must work safe. That includes taking breaks for meals, etc. Supervisors are monitoring crew activity.
- Different crews do different jobs and many LIPA crews supplemented by “off-island” crews - those from utilities or contractors located outside of LIPA’s territory.
We're Here For You
Our command center operates around the clock during major events. From there, we monitor the repair and restoration efforts that are taking place from one end of the island to the other. Our hundreds of crews, made up of thousands of workers, provide continual updates about damage locations and repair progress. Staging sites are established in key locations with staffing and equipment ready to be put into action.
We can mobilize up to 300 employees to staff our telephones at a centralized Customer Assistance Center. These operators can handle thousands of calls an hour. During a severe storm, when there is a large amount of calls coming in at the same time, our automated system can record your outage. Please be patient while trying to reach us. Monitor our Web site and local TV and radio stations for regular reports on our repair progress.
Reporting Your Outage
- Call 800-490-0075
- This automatically creates a “job” in the computer system for restoring service
- Customers can request a call-back for more information if no restoration time is currently available
- The call-back may take 24-36 hours as outages are assessed and prioritized
- Ways to Report an Outage