2003-08-22 / Community

LIPA Prepared For Above Normal Hurricane Season

LIPA Prepared For Above Normal Hurricane Season

The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) has announced that it is actively preparing to meet the challenges of a possible major hurricane impacting Long Island, based on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) continued forecast of above normal Atlantic hurricane activity.

"During the last several years the Long Island region has been spared a major tropical storm or hurricane," Said LIPA Chairman Richard M. Kessel. "LIPA believes that this run of good luck may not necessarily continue, and that Long Island needs to be prepared for the worst," notes Kessel.

NOAA calls for a total of between 12-15 tropical storms, with 7-9 becoming hurricanes, and 3 or 4 becoming major hurricanes (Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale: Category 3 or higher).

This update is consistent with the ranges stated in the May outlook, which called for 11-15 tropical storms, 6-9 hurricanes and 2-4 major hurricanes. Since May, NOAA scientists have observed atmospheric conditions becoming increasingly favorable for an above normal hurricane season.

These favorable conditions, combined with the active phase of the Atlantic multi-decadal signal, indicate an above normal Atlantic hurricane season is likely.

LIPA recently completed its annual hurricane preparedness drill and continues to make significant investments in its transmission and distribution system to help deal with a major storm.

"LIPA has invested nearly $900 million dollars in system improvements during the last five years to strengthen the transmission and distribution system, which is why LIPA continues to lead N.Y. State in reliability for an overhead electric system," said Kessel.

Some of the system improvements and storm preparations completed by LIPA include the installation of nearly 25 miles of re-enforced transmission lines since last year to better withstand high wind conditions and the installation of switching devices that enable the electric system to automatically reroute power in certain situations.

LIPA has trimmed trees along nearly 3000 miles of lines in 2002, since trees account for over 45% of all service disruptions. There has been training of 1,260 employees for positions in the LIPA/Key Span Emergency Restoration Organization.

LIPA has prepared to operate Substations independently from central control during an emergency restoration response so that as many customers with power after a storm keep service during restoration.

In the event of a hurricane or tropical storm impacting Long Island, LIPA’s electric customers are encouraged to follow these eight storm preparation tips to help ensure their family’s safety and comfort:

1. Develop a family plan for survival and property protection.

2. Have flashlights, battery-operated radios and extra batteries on hand.

3. Know the hurricane risks in your area. Learn the storm surge history and elevation of your area.

4. Learn safe routes inland away from the ocean, bay or Long Island Sound.

5. If your residence is in a potential flood or storm surge zone, be prepared to evacuate when officials recommend it.

6. Make arrangements now for elderly and others with special needs, such as those who depend on electric life-support devices.

7. Inventory personal property; safely secure all records and valuable documents in a watertight place.

8. Never touch or go near fallen wires, even if you think it is safe. Remind children that wires are dangerous. If you are in a vehicle that comes in contact with a downed wire, stay in your vehicle until help arrives.

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