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LIPA restores power to 99% of customers who are able to safely receive it; utility worker is attacked

November 14, 2012

By Jeannine Anderson
The Long Island Power Authority in New York said yesterday that it had restored power to 99% of its customers who were out of power and who could safely accept it. Most of LIPA's 1.1 million customers lost power when superstorm Sandy struck on Oct. 29. 

As of 10 a.m. yesterday, more than 10,000 customers in Nassau and Suffolk counties still were without electricity, LIPA said. Although LIPA power is available, as many as 8,000 customers in those two counties and 27,000 in the Rockaways (the Rockaway Peninsula on Long Island) are unable to safely receive power without customer repairs, the utility said. However, the LIPA system is up and running and ready to restore power to these customers once they have completed the necessary repairs and obtained an electric certification, the utility said.

Thousands of linemen and tree trim crews continue to work around the clock to restore the remaining customer outages, LIPA said. As many as 15,000 workers, including hundreds of linemen from public power utilities all over the country, have been working long shifts to restore electricity to Long Islanders. 

Lakeland lineman attacked
A lineman working for Lakeland Electric in Florida, who was in Long Island to help LIPA restore power to customers, was attacked outside a restaurant in East Hempstead the night of Nov. 9, Fox News reported.

John Applewhite, 34, is recovering from a broken jaw and needs reconstructive surgery on his face, according to the Fox News report

After working a 16-hour day to help LIPA get power back to customers on Long Island, Applewhite had gone to a restaurant. He said a man in a black BMW drove up and asked about the power restoration, then jumped out of his car and punched the lineman in the face. A co-worker who ran to the lineman's aid "ended up with a bite wound on his hand from the attacker," Fox News said.

"I'm not going to let it get me down," Applewhite told the news service. "I enjoy what I do and I'm not going to let one person spoil that for me. I enjoy helping people out."


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