Witnesses named for storm-prep hearing

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Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano and Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone will be among the experts testifying Tuesday in Old Westbury before a special state panel investigating the response of utility companies to superstorm Sandy.

New York Power Authority president and chief executive Gil Quiniones, AT&T New York president Marissa Shorenstein and Long Island Rail Road president Helena Williams, will also testify before the Moreland Commission -- a special panel appointed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, according to a commission news release.

Commission spokesman David Neustadt said in a news release the hearing will focus on the preparedness and response of the utilities to recent storms and recommendations for "restructuring the oversight" of the state's energy utilities, including LIPA.

The commission will host a 6 p.m. public hearing at SUNY College of Old Westbury, Student Union Center, Multi-Purpose Room, 223 Store Hill Rd., Old Westbury.

Members of the public wishing to testify on either of the two issues can register at the event, but are being asked to keep their comments to two minutes. Residents can also send their comments to the commission before and after the hearings at comments@moreland.ny.gov.

The commission, which met last week in Manhattan, is planning another hearing on Long Island on Dec. 20, to investigate LIPA and National Grid's response to Sandy and last year's Hurricane Irene, but a location has not yet been announced.

Cuomo, established the commission on Nov. 13, using his authority under the state's Moreland Act to investigate the response, preparation and management of the utilities in the wake of recent storms. Suffolk Chief Deputy County Executive Regina Calcaterra, is serving as executive director of the committee, and has taken a leave of absence from her county role.

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