She added that a slow response from LIPA is a recurring problem in Salisbury during outages, and that her neighborhood is usually one of the last to have power restored. “We’re always the first to go out and the last to come back on,” she said. “They need to know where Salisbury is and that we need attention, too.”
Finding solace in a warm place
The Empress Diner was one of the few buildings on Hempstead Turnpike that did not lose power. Owner Mike Panagatos said his restaurant had long lines of people all week, as residents came in not only to eat, but to charge their phones, access their Wi-Fi and watch television. “We were popular,” said Panagatos. “We had heat, we had food and charging stations, so they were very happy to come here.”
Panagatos said he had been working 16 hours straight every day since Sandy hit, and estimated that the diner had 10,000 customers since Oct. 30.
The Apollo Diner, on Merrick Avenue, was another eatery that never lost power, and owner Jimmy Constantanos said that he has also been extremely busy not only serving meals but also charging phones and supplying hot water. “We’re just trying to help people get through this,” he said.
Constantanos said he was encouraged by the camaraderie he witnessed during the storm. “You saw the good side of people coming out,” he said. “It was a madhouse, but I like that I saw people coming together and helping each other.”
Overload at the NUMC
Arthur A. Gianelli, president and CEO of the NuHealth System, which oversees the Nassau University Medical Center, said that the federal government had sent a disaster medical assistance team to help the clinical staff at NUMC. The team, which began arriving on Sunday, comprised 35 medical personnel from Texas.
As of Monday, the hospital had approximately 540 patients, with another 30 in the emergency department. The A. Holly Patterson Extended Care Facility in Uniondale had about 620 patients, even though the facility has only 589 beds. To accommodate the influx of patients, A. Holly Patterson made arrangements to have patients sleep in shifts.