More than a week after Hurricane Sandy destroyed or severely damaged homes and the boardwalk, eroded beaches and rendered the city’s power, water and sewer services useless, there was a glimmer of hope, after power was restored to most parts of the city.
“As of Friday night, LIPA estimates that power has been restored in upwards of 80 percent of Long Beach homes,” read a statement on the city’s website.
City officials announced on Tuesday that the Long Island Power Authority, under pressure from Gov. Andrew Cuomo and local and state officials, had begun turning power back on. “LIPA has begun restoring power to some areas in Long Beach,” City Manager Jack Schnirman said in a statement. “The city is still demanding a timeline for completion and that LIPA crews work around the clock until power has returned to every single home.”
Earlier this week, Gordon Tepper, a spokesman for the city, said that areas that had more serious flooding might take more time to have power restored. “The West End and Canals are going to be problematic,” Tepper said. “But [LIPA] has been given the authority to turn power on wherever they can.”
But by Saturday, parts of the city that received some of the worst storm damage — including the Canals and the West End — had some electricity restored, officials said.
The city advised residents to keep their main circuit breakers turned off, saying that it would expedite the return of power. Officials also instructed residents to have an electrician examine their electrical wiring and devices if they sustained significant water damage.
“If you’re in an area where there was water damage, you have to be extra careful,” Tepper said. “But they’re working around the clock. We just hope every day that LIPA keeps restoring more and more, and we won’t be satisfied until every home has power restored.”
Additionally, some traffic lights were working, and city officials said that representatives of National Grid were going door to door, providing information on gas restoration.