Murray said she recently spoke to Tom King, the executive director for the U.S. National Grid, and was told that because of the excessive amounts of fallen trees, there is more infrastructure damage in the middle swathe of Nassau County – which includes Levittown, East Meadow and Salisbury – than there is on the South Shore. As a result, the infrastructure repairs have delayed the restoration of power to central Nassau neighborhoods.
“We are totally outraged,” said East Meadow resident George Barabas, who lives on Chestnut Lane. “We have seen no crews from LIPA at all. Not even to look at the damage.”
Barabas, who works as a professor at Nassau Community College, said that live electrical wires still lie unattended in his neighborhood. “I think the people at LIPA should be held criminally liable for this,” he said. “If someone is killed, someone should be held responsible.”
Salisbury resident Jeffrey Rosenking, who is a Trustee on the East Meadow Board of Education, said he lacked power for eight days last year after Hurricane Irene hit. This year, the outage has lasted two weeks. “We’re 4,000 homes, we’re 12,000 residents, and we feel neglected,” said Rosenking, who said he has a downed utility pole in his backyard which LIPA has not responded to.
“When something happens and you don’t know about it the first time, that’s an accident. This is no longer an accident,” said Mindy Perlish, who also lives in Salisbury and is a vice president of the Community Association of Stewart Avenue. “We went from LILCO to LIPA and that was supposed to be an improvement. But it’s just seems to have gotten worse. We’re paying higher rates and we’re getting less service.”
Murray also pointed out LIPA’s failure to prioritize its handicapped customers, who rely on electricity to live. She was joined by Levittown resident Ziggy Repetto, whose son is confined to a wheelchair and requires an electric-powered CPAP ventilator to help him breathe. “The Repettos, like so many families throughout the Town of Hempstead, heavily rely on electricity to care for people with special needs," said the supervisor. “LIPA has, inexcusably, demonstrated a complete lack of compassion for these residents.”