Port Washington is almost in the clear after this weekend's storm, which left hundreds of residents without power and many roads blocked off due to fallen trees and power lines. As of 5 p.m., of the close to 1,000 Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) customers in the Town of North Hempstead still without power, just 105 are from Port Washington, Manorhaven or Sands Point. No outages are currently being reported in Baxter Estates or Port Washington North.
LIPA along with the Port Washington fire and police departments as well as Nassau County Police are working together to fix the remaining power outages. "This has been the biggest impact to our North Hempstead system since 1992," said a LIPA representative during a conference call on Monday afternoon. "There were over 253,000 outages, but we are happy to report that 189,000 customers have been restored."
The representative added, "We have 2,000 workers working on getting the lights back on, which is five times the normal amount of storm crew we usually have, and we are continuing to do a lot of coordination with the towns and the county."
There are still 32,756 outages in Nassau County and 55,361 in Long Island as a whole as of 5 p.m. Of the 98,788 LIPA customers in the Town of North Hempstead, 963 remain without power.
In Port Washington, Manorhaven remains the most effected by these outages. Out of the 2,623 LIPA customers in the village, 58 remain without electricity. Many of the Manorhaven outages were caused by downed power lines that run from Linwood Road South to Orchard Beach Boulevard, which were taken out by a falling tree during the storm.
Linwood Road resident Terri Heiman said she has been without power since 5:30 p.m. on Saturday. "There is a big tree that pulled electrical wires down with it," Heiman said. "Four or five utility poles have been knocked down as well."
Nassau County Police have been taking shifts blocking off the road at Orchard Beach Boulevard near the corner of Linwood Road South and on the corner of Linwood and Kirkwood Road since the night of the storm. Telephone wires remain sprawled across the road and through yards and many residents have said the smell of burnt wood lingers in the air.
Heiman said she is worried how much longer she'll be without power. "Everything is a little precarious, but I have not seen any LIPA trucks," said the Linwood Road resident. "There are only police cars blocking my street."
LIPA officials said they expect power to be restored to most residents by Wednesday evening at the latest, but it could take even longer for people who are still calling in new outages.
"Broken branches are hanging on wires and those wires are coming down," said Vanessa Baird-Streeter, a LIPA spokeswoman, of what's causing the new outages. "It also doesn't help with the weather we have been getting as far as restoring power."
An additional 15,000 outages have been reported today, Baird-Streeter said.
Sands Point residents are also suffering from these outages with 45 of their 1,527 customers still without power.
Sands Point homeowner Andy Lipset said he isn't surprised that these problems remain. "I had to go out late Saturday night and I saw the fire department and police on calls all over town," Lipset recalled. "Some fire equipment was in Sands Point, while other trucks were dealing with flooding on Shore Road. Branches and trees were down everywhere. The Village Club lost two trees at two different points in the same day that closed a portion of or all of Middle Neck Road. It was definitely an obstacle course to get around town."
Port Washington has just two outages out of 6,707 customers, while Baxter Eststes and Port Washington North residents seem to be the luckiest in town as no customers are reporting outages out of a combined 2,070 customers.
A representative at the Village of Baxter Estates said, "We were fortunate not to have the village office flooded. ... There was water up to the front door."
LIPA currently has about 2,000 crews, with help from workers in Canada, Indiana and Pennsylvania, all attempting to get the lights back on in Long Island homes, Baird-Streeter said. Amid complaints that LIPA should have been more prepared to deal with the storm's aftermath, Baird-Streeter said they never expected the storm to be as devastating as it was.
"When there's a hurricane coming, you know four to five days in advance and you make some preparations, but being out of hurricane season, this was not forecasted as that," she said. "But there were hurricane force winds and with the saturated grounds, it's easy for trees to be uprooted."
Local police departments have remained on security detail around town to stop drivers from blocked and unsafe roads.
"The customers who have had their power restored are finally smiling again," the LIPA representative said during this afternoon's conference call. "For the people whose power is not back, we really feel for them. We are working around the clock to reinstate their power. We do want to reach out to our customers, and assure them that we are working to resolve this problem quickly and efficiently."
In the meantime, for those still living in the dark, Baird-Streeter suggested that people who call LIPA's outage line follow all of the prompts to leave a callback number so they can be notified when power is expected to be restored.
"We are asking people to be as patient as possible," she said.