LIPA fails to keep date with school

REPORTER FILE PHOTO |The Shelter Island School’s emergency power generator may not be operational until the Christmas break.

There’s still no generator at Shelter Island School since Long Island Power Authority didn’t keep its date with contractors to hook up the new unit today.  According to Brian McClave of McClave Engineering, the date for hookup had been scheduled months ago, but Hurricane Sandy diverted LIPA crews to work restoring power throughout Long Island, and the Shelter Island project was put on the back burner.

But as of Monday, Mr. McClave told the Board of Education that LIPA officials had told him it appeared a crew would show up  Wednesday to connect and test the new generator. LIPA officials had been giving Mr. McClave an on-again, off-again response, but on Monday  the power company said it appeared the job could be done this week.

On Tuesday, at 5:30 p.m., Mr. McClave got a call saying  no LIPA crew would be able to tackle the project today. “It’s difficult under normal circumstances dealing with them,” Mr. McClave said about LIPA. Given the work the utility faced in the aftermath of the storm, the difficulty was compounded, he added.

There’s no new date for installation, but Mr. McClave speculated it would likely be delayed until the Christmas break when there are no classes. Connecting the generator is an approximately three-hour process followed by several hours of testing that requires turning power on and off, he said.

That’s why the connection wasn’t made prior to Sandy, resulting in the school being closed for three days during and after the storm.