Roughly one-third of East Meadow residents had braved the darkness for more than a week since Hurricane Sandy struck, as LIPA worked to restore power to Nassau County homes.
According to a power outage map on LIPA’s website, about 4,000 of its 13,000 customers in East Meadow remained powerless on Tuesday afternoon. The slow response has angered elected officials and residents alike.
The majority of traffic lights had been restored along major East Meadow roads, but trees and power lines remained on the ground.
The East Meadow School District canceled classes through Monday, Nov. 5, and schools reopened for voters on Election Day and were set to welcome students back on Wednesday.
Local leaders criticize LIPA
County Legislator Norma Gonsalves, who regained electrical power at her East Meadow home on Sunday night, told the Herald on Monday that she is “not happy with the way LIPA is handling this situation.”
Gonsalves said she has been contacting LIPA twice a day since the storm hit, but has not received clear information about when power will be fully restored to East Meadow homes. “I don’t know where they’re at and why it’s taking so long,” she said. “After it’s all said and done, LIPA is going to have a lot of questions to answer.”
The legislator said she is particularly concerned for her elderly constituents, and how they are coping without power. “It’s a very sad situation,” she said. “I am extremely frustrated, I’m disappointed and I am angry. I feel for my constituents and I feel for my neighbors.”
State Assemblyman Tom McKevitt, also an East Meadow resident, summed up LIPA’s performance using one word — “horrendous.” McKevitt said that he contacted the power authority days before the storm hit to make sure it was prepared, and LIPA officials assured him that it was. “They’ve done a horrible, horrible, failure of a job,” he said. “They failed to prepare for the storm beforehand.”