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New Shelter Opens in New Hyde Park

North Hempstead residents without power grow angry and frustrated.

In the wake of Super Storm Sandy and a pending NorEaster, Nassau County and the Red Cross are opening a new shelter at New Hyde Park Memorial High School on Wednesday at 4 p.m.

The shelter’s opening coincides with the closing of the shelter at Manhasset High School. And it comes as a new coastal storm is expected to bring cold rain and winds at 20-30 miles per hour wind and gusts of up to 60 miles per hour.

The shelter also opens as many North Hempstead residents express anger over power outages that have lasted eight days or longer.

And while LIPA had originally anticipated restoring power to 90 percent of Long Island by Wednesday at 11 p.m., “it sounds like they are pushing this to the end of the weekend,” North Hempstead Supervisor Jon Kaiman said.

He noted that frustration for residents is growing to greater heights.

“We don’t have the ability to get the power on, but are hearing [residents’] frustration,” he said.

From 4-7 p.m. Wednesday, the town is running two busses to the established comfort stations around North Hempstead to pick up people who want to go to the shelter, Kaiman said. He added that the comfort stations are not set up to host people overnight.

School is expected to remain open for New Hyde Park students. The area serving as the shelter, typically the gymnasium, will be cordoned off from students. The shelter, which holds 750 people, will remain open indefinitely, Kaiman said.

Those concerned about elderly friends or relatives, or senior citizens needing assistance post-Sandy, are encouraged to call  the town’s aging-in-place program. Staff members are prepared to knock on doors and offer assistance. Call 311 or 869-6311 for more information.

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