More than 202,000 homes and businesses were still blacked out as of Tuesday morning a week into Superstorm Sandy recovery efforts as lawmakers and the public increasingly lose patience with the Long Island Power Authority.
That number is down from more than 1 million of LIPA’s 1.1 million customers who lost electricity during the storm, but LIPA stopped counting the hardest hit areas incapable of being repowered, inclucing the Rockaways, Long Beach and Fire Island. The utility, which has 11,000 crew members from across the nation helping it, has said it will have the lights back on to 90 percent of its customers by sundown Wednesday, but some were still not appeased.
“I think the utility companies have not performed adequately,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday evening. ”If you don’t perform the service, then don’t ask the consumers to pay the bill. And if you can’t perform the service, then we’ll find another vendor who will.”
LIPA temporarily took down the storm outage map off their website Monday, frustrating the issue further. Michael Hervey, cheif operating officer of LIPA, told News12 Long Island the map web page had to be relaunched because the old map had inaccurate information. A new outage map was up by Monday night.
Not that the new map solved the blackout problem as some Long Islanders struggle to keep warm amid tempratures dropping into the 30s and 40s at night. Asked Cuomo: “ If their power is out in the apartment, how are they going to contact you on the web?”
Some neighborhoods are expected to be in the dark for at least a week after Wednesday.
“LIPA continues to restore power to customers in the most severely damaged areas in and around Brookville, St. James and Port Jefferson, and we are advising customers that they should plan for the potential that power restoration could extend a week or more beyond [Nov. 7],” LIPA said in a news release Monday night.
Cuomo called the progress “unacceptable.” Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, who has the most residents still without power in the tri-state area, termed it “shameful.” And Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) blasted LIPA crews as “arrogant.”
To report an outage, call 1-800-490-0075 or 631-755-6900.