WFAN’s Mike Francesa has spent much of his popular midday sports-talk show in recent days ripping the response by the Long Island Power Authority to Superstorm Sandy. He’s also knocking Gov. Andrew Cuomo for not doing more to get residents’ power back.
“Cuomo said today that LIPA was unprepared for the storm and that their system is archaic,” Francesa said this afternoon. “You know what, I blame Cuomo and I blame the guys in charge of the state that allowed this system.”
Francesa, who lives on Long Island, has had numerous callers in recent days detailing the troubles with LIPA’s organization — such as workers not being sent to jobs and not having the immediate authority to clean up downed lines.
Francesa said today that Cuomo needs to do more to get the company organized and to step in with state help.
“You know what, the governor’s got to do more than call the system intolerable,” Francesa said. “He’s got to do something. I don’t care what it is. He has to go down there, put people in the LIPA offices, put workers, inspectors on the ground in Nassau and Suffolk and find out why the stuff is not getting done.”
He continued that, “You cannot have people without power for 24-25 days. That’s insanity. A week is reasonable. Ten days is interminable. Twenty-four days is insanity. It’s past archaic. And the governor’s got to take a hit here too for allowing this to go on under his watch.”
Francesa said the weather is expected to be in the 60s over the next few days, and it should allow the power to be restored. LIPA had 250,000 people without power today, the governor’s office said. He said LIPA says it has 14,000 workers in the region.
“If you don’t get those 200,000 houses – other than the flood zone – get those houses up on four-straight, 60-degree days, then you know what, there should be hell to pay,” Francesa said. “And I don’t care what you have to do, to do it.”
For his part, Cuomo today again ripped into the utilities, saying he’s done everything within his power to press them.
“You can’t be any stronger or harsher than I have been on the utility companies,” Cuomo said. “You can’t use any other language than I’ve used and not have to worry about my daughters watching the broadcast. Privately, I have used language that my daughters couldn’t hear.”
Cuomo said he’s been out to the sites repeatedly and talks regularly with the utilities’ leaders. He has threatened to take away their licenses.
“I believe they were unprepared. I believe the system is archaic and obsolete in many ways. I don’t believe what they did was adequate,” Cuomo said.
He added that, “They’re this nameless, faceless bureaucracy that is a monopoly that operates with very little incentive or sanction.”