For the second time in a week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo returned to Long Beach on Saturday, as the city and its residents began the arduous task of clearing out their homes and buildings of debris following Hurricane Sandy's devastating impact.
At a press conference in front of City Hall, where he was joined by Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and city officials, Cuomo said that he is holding the Long Island Power Authority "accountable" for restoring power to Long Beach as quickly as possible, but acknowledged that might not happen fast enough.
"This is going to be a situation that is unfolding for weeks; things are not going to be back to normal, repairs won't be done for a significant period of time," Cuomo said. "But we want to make sure we're communicating with ... the people of Nassau so they know exactly what's going on."
Restorating power, he said, is "paramount." Cuomo said that 60 percent of people the in metropolitan area have had their power restored.
"With LIPA, 550,000 people are still without power - that is down from 1.2 million people at the high point, so we have made progress," Cuomo said. "I have told utility companies in no uncertain terms that I am going to hold them accoutnable. The utilities are regulated by the state of New York and authorized by the state of New York, and we expect them to perform. But there's only one person that really matters when it comes to success, and that's you and your home. It doesn't matter how many people have gotten their power back until you get your power back, and we understand that and we're going to be working until every New Yorker gets their power back, period."