Fighting for lights on Fendale Street
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Rather than relying on her neighbor, O’Shea went out and bought a generator so she could partially return power to her home. On Nov. 8, residents were outside on Fendale Street, discussing when they might get their power back. The group spotted lights and a crew working on the north side of Hempstead Turnpike. Running to the corner of Fendale and the turnpike, they shouted at the electric crew to help them.
The crew had driven up from Georgia and was on call for LIPA. The workers told the Fendale Street residents that they had not been assigned to their block, but they came over to take a look. Fendale had not lost any trees or wires to Sandy, so one of the crew members climbed a ladder and hoisted one of the wires free from some tree branches. After a few shakes of the wire, the lights came on.
Many are hesitant to fully restock their food supplies, just in case power goes out again. O’Shea said that for the next few weeks, she plans to keep staples like eggs and milk on hand, but not much else. Being without power for so long has made it easy to simply forget to turn on lights in the morning, she said with a laugh.
Many believe that losing power will continue to be a problem as Long Island faces future storms. Few blamed the crews on the streets working 20-hour days, but most said they hope LIPA officials would have better communication should something like this occur again.
“I don’t blame them at all — if they’re not being told where to go, it’s no their fault,” O’Shea said of the crews. “It was not getting any information that was tough. It felt like nobody was in control.”