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Michaud: Will LIPA be ready for Hurricane Sandy?
Driving home from a trip to Syracuse this evening, we passed four convoys of white and orange bucket trucks, which were clearly heading toward southeastern New York to prepare for the onslaught of Hurricane Sandy.
The trucks are equipped with cherry-picker lifts, which are perfect for lifting crews to disentangle tree limbs from power lines and perform other needed repairs.
The Asplundh trucks were traveling in convoys of six or seven, south on New York State Route 81 and east on Interstate 80. Will this preparation prove to be a match for the storm?
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Long Island Power Authority officials say they are calling in out-of-state crews from Ohio, Wisconsin, Missouri, Illinois, Texas, Florida, California and Iowa.
In recent years, LIPA has had a particularly murky crystalball when it comes to storm preparation. The utility was criticized for lengthy outages and slow response after Tropical Storm Irene in late August 2011.
And for Hurricane Earl a year earlier, in August 2010, LIPA spent $33 million for a storm that largely bypassed Long Island.
Weather prediction is an imperfect science. Which will it be for LIPA this time?