Officials instructed residents whose homes sustained significant water damage to have an electrician examine their electrical wiring. Residents were also told to contact the Building Department, at (516) 431-1005, if their homes had not been energized but they believed they should be.
The city said last week that LIPA’s damage assessment of Long Beach was complete, and that houses that were deemed unsafe by the agency would have their electricity disconnected until the necessary repair work was completed.
“Everyone wants their electric and gas on, but it’s very dangerous when you put your circuit breakers on because of saltwater in the system,” said Ray Ellmer, a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals and a volunteer firefighter, adding that there had been a number of electrical fires since the storm.
Some of those who had power restored said they were happy to return. “After two long weeks without power and water, and staying at different hotels, we finally came back to our apartment in Long Beach on Monday,” said Rona Hummel, who evacuated from the Sherwood House, at 410 E. Broadway, with her husband, Michael. “We had to have the super turn on the power in our apartment, and … we were able to be back in our home. Words cannot describe our joy to be back home, with power and what the town says is safe water.
“Of course it’s bittersweet, because Long Beach is still so devastated right now,” Hummel continued. “Driving through the streets … and seeing everyone’s belongings on the sidewalk, cars still in the position they were blown to, and people walking around misplaced. There’s only so much happiness you can have when your community has suffered so much loss.”
More information about garbage removal, FEMA and other issues can be found at www.longbeach.org.