As LIPA tries to remedy the post-Sandy situation, including getting thousands back online and searching for a new chief operating officer, they will also be preparing answers about their company's storm response for a government investigation.
, announced Tuesday that as Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Investigations and Government Operations, he will head a set of hearings to investigate LIPA's response to Hurricane Sandy.
"LIPA's snail-like response time, glaring lack of communication and epic failure to plan ahead for post-storm restorations must be addressed," said Marcellino, who said taxpayers should be able to expect more considering the high rates they pay. The newly reelected state senator is one of many politicians calling for action against the power company.
Marcellino commended the efforts of crews and first responders who have worked day and night to restore Long Island to normalcy. It is LIPA's now twice-failed, "fatally flawed" preparedness system that he says must be addressed.
"…it is clear that we must again take a look at LIPA’s response and determine if they are truly prepared and competent to go forward and provide services for the residents and ratepayers on Long Island," said Marcellino, who said the experts heading LIPA failed to use the time they had to prepare for such a storm.
At a post-Irene hearing in September 2011, Marcellino said it had been recommended that LIPA revamp outreach, the accuracy of their outage map, training representatives at call centers, outage reporting, restoration staffing and coordination, electric system maintenance, and mismanagement.
Marcellino said he has given LIPA plenty of time to prepare for the hearings, which have not yet been formally scheduled.