Rally against LIPA continues on LI - New York News

Rally against LIPA continues on LI

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For the second straight day Long Island residents held a rally to vent their frustrations to LIPA who has been slow to restore power to customers affected by Superstorm Sandy. 

Hundreds of customers stood in front of the National Grid/LIPA offices in Hicksville Saturday afternoon to protest the utility company's lack of communication. Later, a similar large rally was held in Massapequa against LIPA.

Saturday's rallies come a day after Oceanside residents chanted their frustrations with the Long Island Power Authority and local leaders.

The hum of a generator in Massapequa where a woman sitting in her car trying to charge cell phone, folks out looking for a lineman, it all added up to utter frustration, no electricity nearly two weeks after Hurricane Sandy hit.

"We are actually becoming prisoners of our homes, waiting for people to show up, linemen, gas people, nobody shows up don't know when restored," said resident Bob Leone. 

The days drag on, the nights, long and mostly dark. Patience is gone, like the electricity in this South Shore Long Island community. 

"Hundreds of trees, lines down, understand it takes time, misinformation, horrific," said Robert Corrado who has been without power.

Short fuses now, residents without power are fired up and they held a protest at LIPA headquarters.

Now it's time for higher ups at LIPA to be held accountable. High taxes, high bills and not letting us know how long power will be out for. 

LIPA executives responded a few hours later. 

"At the end of the day, monumental task, 90% system no power," said LIPA COO Michael Hervey. "We are not happy about the misery it puts on our customers." 

LIPA insists the utility has an armada of several thousand employees trying to get the work done. Not good enough, according to Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray, who says people with special needs haven't got the help they need after the Superstorm.

Residents say LIPA needs greater regulation, better communication, and faster response.

The folks in this neighborhood are weary. They just found out it could be three more days before power back on. 

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has called for investigation of the region's utilities, criticizing them as unprepared and badly managed. On Friday, two congressmen from Long Island called for the federal government to help LIPA restore electricity.

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