July 19, 2006
Power Outages Result Of Faulty Cable
Power outages in East Hampton Village over the Fourth of July weekend were the result of a faulty power cable that runs along Ocean Ave., according to the Long Island Power Authority.
The cable developed problems in late May, said Michael Lowndes, director of media relations for LIPA, and the power company decided it had to be replaced. LIPA applied for a permit to do the work on June 16; the village turned down the request on June 26, citing traffic issues, according to LIPA.
Scott Fithian, the East Hampton Village Superintendent of Public Works, said that while LIPA's request may have been dated June 16, he didn't receive it until the 26. Before denying the permit, he spoke to Ray Homburger, a design engineer at LIPA, asking if the repair could be put off because significant foot traffic was expected in the area over the Fourth of July weekend for the fireworks. Homburger said that would be fine, according to Fithian. It sounds like LIPA is "passing the buck," Fithian added.
Lowndes disagreed: "We warned the village emphatically that this was something that had to get done before the July Fourth weekend."
A temporary cable is now in place at the sight and work is underway to put in a permanent replacement, a job that should be completed in a week, Lowndes said.
On a lighter note, village administrator Larry Cantwell said it was part of the village's Fourth of July fun to cut power to Jerry Della Femina's house.
The ad man and village resident who was intermittently without power for three days over the holiday weekend, responded thusly: "If there were people on respirators who needed electricity to stay alive, would Larry be so flippant?"