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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

Schmitt warned about LIPA failures in 2010

Peter J. Schmitt listens to a discussion during

Peter J. Schmitt listens to a discussion during a Nassau County Legislative session on the 2003 budget in Mineola. "Peter Schmitt was a dedicated public servant and a fierce advocate for his vision for county government," said Assemb. Charles D. Lavine (D-Glen Cove). (Oct. 28, 2002) Photo Credit: Michael Ross Wacht

If Nassau’s late Presiding Officer Peter Schmitt (R-Massapequa) had been around to see LIPA’s dismaying performance after Hurricane Sandy, he would be justified in saying, ‘I told you so.’”

Schmitt, who died suddenly last month, called for an investigation into LIPA in March 2010 after an unnamed storm with hurricane-force winds blew through Long Island, toppling trees and knocking out power for hundreds of homes. Residents, particularly along the South Shore, were without power for up to five days.

At the time, Schmitt said he was outraged at LIPA’s poor communication with residents and its lack of coordination between towns wanting to remove trees from tangled power lines and LIPA crews needed to re-energize the wires.

“We’ve been very hard hit on the South Shore,” Schmitt said then. “The most frustrating thing for the residents and for us, the legislators, is we can’t get any information.  If my office can’t get through to them, what’s an average resident supposed to do?”

Schmitt added, prophetically, “If this has taken so long, what is a hurricane going to be like?”

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