More than 3,000 Plainview customers remain without power one week after Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on Long Island and plunged much of the community into darkness.
The Long Island Power Authority claims it is working around the clock on restoration and now has more than 6,200 lineman and tree workers on Long Island. The utility reported early Monday that is has restored nearly 700,000 customers to power and is "on track" to have most customers restored by Wednesday.
At 1 a.m. Monday, there are more than 166,000 customers in Nassau County without power, including 46,000 customers in the Town of Oyster Bay, an estimated 100,000 people without power. Many are now shivering through 40-degree nights without heat.
Those include 3,654 customers in Plainview alone, perhaps 9,000-10,000 people or more, still without power. Plainview lags behind only Glen Head and Glen Cove in communities with the most customers with outages in the Town of Oyster Bay.
"It's just plain disgusting (the) response so far; with the cold weather coming they will have blood on their hands," wrote Peter Kehayes on the Plainview Patch Facebook page. "This lack of response will create a health pandemic shortly..."
When combined, the Massapequas, (Park, South and East) have more than 6,000 customers still out. Syosset's numbers are similar to Plainview's. But neighboring Bethpage has just over 700 customers without power, LIPA reported.
LIPA can not say specifically why certain communities, including Plainview, are lagging in the restoration efforts. In general, LIPA claims it must before it can address individual neighborhoods. The process takes time, LIPA says.
Hundreds of outraged readers said LIPA was woefully unprepared for the storm and say they have been mistreated by LIPA customer service people.
"Just spoke to a LIPA crew on Macarthur Drive behind John's Farms," wrote Valerie Kaicher Kovel. "The worker said that they are getting no direction from LIPA."
"LIPA: Shameful response," added Barbara A. Nadel. "...It's cold. Homes are damaged. Stop the grandstanding photo ops and get to work."
Read more of their comments here.
The complaints are not limited to Plainview:
Rep. Peter King, R-Seaford, demanded that LIPA "immediately remedy its poor customer service and improve its inadequate sharing of information with residents who are still without power."
"LIPA’s failure to keep customers informed of the latest information on conditions and improvements is simply unacceptable," King said. "County Executive (Edward) Mangano and I have heard so many complaints from many Long Island towns and neighborhoods about the ‘arrogant’ and unhelpful attitude of so many of LIPA employees as well as LIPA’s failure to respond to legitimate inquiries from those without power.”
LIPA says 275,000 total customers are without power, excluding customers in the most severely flooded areas. According to LIPA, tens of thousands of customers are being restored daily.