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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Living in the dark
(Page 2 of 4)
David Weingrad/Herald
Benny Diasparra, 26, the owner of Nina’s Italian Deli, stood outside his powerless shop on Newbridge Road.

Those words were yelled into a megaphone by Murray on Saturday afternoon, as she stood with residents in the middle of Greenbelt Lane in Levittown, demanding LIPA’s attention. Several chants of “Where is LIPA?” arose from the protesters.

“We are totally outraged,” said East Meadow resident George Barabas, who lives on Chestnut Lane. “We have seen no crews from LIPA at all. Not even to look at the damage.”

Barabas, a professor at Nassau Community College, said on Saturday that live electrical wires still lay unattended in his neighborhood. “I think the people at LIPA should be held criminally liable for this,” he said. “If someone is killed, someone should be held responsible.”

Hudes, who lives in Levittown but represents East Meadow, said that, according to LIPA, there are 17 power authority workers for every 1,000 outages in the Town of Hempstead. But in East Hampton, Hudes said, there are 52 LIPA workers for every 1,000 outages, and in Islip, 33. “LIPA is not giving us the services that we deserve,” he said.

A mother’s tale of hardship

Sharon Oderwald’s 5-year-old daughter Violet has leukemia. Her Randall Avenue home is among those that lacked power for two weeks. To stay warm, she stayed with friends and family members, because it is essential that Violet remain healthy while she undergoes treatment.

Oderwald said that the displacement of her family had created anxiety for Violet, which was amplified by the fact that she is to begin chemotherapy and steroid regimens soon. “I didn’t anticipate being out of power for this length of time and am very fearful of the added stress,” said Oderwald, who also has a 15-month-old. “I am very grateful to my family and friends for their generosity but my family needs to be back home.”

She said she had called LIPA to explain her situation, but was told by power authority officials that while they would make a note of her situation, “we had to make other arrangements.”

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