Many Five Towners still in the dark

Residents and village mayors are equally frustrated


As of Thursday afternoon, many Five Towns residents are still in the dark and the village mayors are just as frustrated as they are unable to inform residents when the lights will come back on.

On LIPA's website, as of Thursday at 3 p.m., there are still 1,846 in Cedarhurst, 2,876 in Lawrence, 989 in Inwood, 2,106 in Woodmere, and 524 in Hewlett, without power.

Lawrence Mayor Martin Oliner said the village hired its own private security because he is concerned about the safety of his residents. "We are dealing with health and safety emergencies," he said.

According to Oliner, LIPA is not providing clear answers and the sewer substation in Lawrence was shut off during the storm surge so homes throughout the village are flooded with sewage and have no power. "There are many feet of water and sewage and we can't do anything about it," he said.

Though many of Lawrence's residents are still in their homes, Oliner is concerned about the near future if things don't improve. "Most are still here but it's getting cold and if this continues, we'll have a disaster," he said. "We're not getting enough help."

In neighboring Cedarhurst, Mayor Andrew Parise said though all but one of the village streets are cleared, the power has not come back on yet. "We're still in very bad shape," he said. "A few streets have power but we're very frustrated and there's nothing we can do."

Fortunately, according to Parise, Nassau County sent diesel fuel and a mechanic to fix two of the village's four substations so Cedarhurst is not dealing with a sewage backing up into resident's homes. "The country responded very well," he said. "But people are getting frustrated."

Parise said Village Hall, located at 200 Cedarhurst Avenue, is running on a generator and he invites residents to come in and charge their cell phones or other electronic devices. "It's important that residents are able to communicate with their families," he said.