Siena Poll: 84 Percent Pan LIPA's Storm Response

Though governor, president earn high marks.

LIPA outage map of Long Island through Nov. 3. Credit LIPA
LIPA outage map of Long Island through Nov. 3. Credit LIPA
Five out of six Long Islanders think the Long Island Power Authority did a poor or fair job handling Superstorm Sandy, a new poll released Monday shows, though most give high marks to the governor.

According to the Siena College Research Institute poll, only 16 percent of Long Islanders gave LIPA high marks, a result that may not surprise locals who have watched the authority come under intense scrutiny for its response to the disaster. In the weeks that followed the storm's landfall, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has called for LIPA's dismantling, a state commission has subpoenaed the utility for info on its preparation and four of its leaders have quit, including acting chief Michael Hervey and chairman Howard Steinberg.

Among the entire state, LIPA earned 20 percent approval, according to the poll.

Unlike LIPA, Cuomo earned high marks in the Siena Poll, with 67 percent of New Yorkers saying he did a good job leading in the aftermath. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority also earned a 59 percent approval rating in the poll, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency earned 53 percent approval.

“New Yorkers are very impressed with the job that Governor Cuomo has done over the last several weeks in dealing with Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath. Two-thirds say he’s done an excellent or good job, including 70 percent of City voters and more than half of Republicans. President Obama and Mayor Bloomberg also receive high – though not as high – grades from voters,” Siena pollster Steven Greenberg said in a statement. “The same cannot be said for the downstate power companies, particularly LIPA.”

Con Edison saw 39 percent approve of its storm handling.

"However, more than half of New York City voters say ConEd has done an excellent or good job, compared to only 13 percent who say the company has done a poor job,” Greenberg said.

New Yorkers also backed Pres. Barack Obama's response, with 61 percent saying he did an excellent or good job in the response effort.

When it comes to causes on the storm, New Yorkers were hardly agnostic when it came to global warming, with 69 percent saying climate change contributed to the formation of the superstorm compared to 24 percent who called it an isolated weather event.

But while one in seven New Yorkers polled said they suffered damages to their homes or properties due to Sandy, that didn't stop them from pulling together to help those hit hardest by the storm.

“More than half of New Yorkers, regardless of political party, say they have contributed to Sandy relief charitable efforts, including 49 percent upstate, 54 percent from New York City and 61 percent from the downstate suburbs,” Greenberg said.

“Nearly one-third of downstaters and roughly half that number upstate say they have volunteered their time to help those impacted by Sandy."

Story by Henry Powderly


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