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LIPA Races To Restore Power; Gov’t Reaches Out To Irene-Affected Residents

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LIPA Crews In Syosset, Aug. 31 (credit: Mona Rivera/1010 WINS)

LIPA Crews In Syosset, Aug. 31 (credit: Mona Rivera/1010 WINS)

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YAPHANK, NY (CBSNewYork) - The Long Island Power Authority is hearing a lot of criticism as many residents remain without electricity for the fourth day in a row. The utility has received complaints of little or no notification of repairs, barely any evidence of crews in their neighborhoods and misinformation from customer representatives.

WCBS 880’s Lynda Lopez And Steve Scott With Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano

Islip Town Supervisor Phil Nolan said LIPA’s lack of communication and response to this storm has been “very unacceptable.”

“It is very frustrating not only to be without power but it tremendously amplifies how frustrating it is when indeed you can’t get an answer and the communication is so poor,” Nola told 1010 WINS. “These are serious issues.”

He said the response to this storm is worse than it was to Hurricane Gloria.

LIPA crews say they have restored power to nearly 300,000 customers in three days and get upset when given an “F” grade by a politician or slammed by customers.

1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera rides with LIPA

1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera got an exclusive look at what workers are facing as they race to restore power.

“They hate us,” worker Roy Bishop said. “They hated us within 24 hours of the power outage.”

WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall On LIPA’s Efforts

Pete Boykevisch, who was working on Robbins Lane in Syosset Wednesday, said people have been coming up to his truck asking, “When are we going to have our power?”

“We’ve put over 300,000 people on with lights and we didn’t do that doing nothing,” Boykevisch told Rivera.

LIPA said it hopes to get power restored to 90 percent of its customers by the end of Friday. On Tuesday, the utility announced it would improve communication with customers and start phoning homes to notify them of repairs.

Residents have been coping with the outages by visiting family members or going to Starbucks or other stores to charge their laptops and cell phones or take advantage of their Wi-Fi.

WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs In Yaphank

Meanwhile, free ice, free showers, and even free hurricane-related insurance help is being offered at various locations across Long Island following Irene.

In Nassau, for example, the county made shower facilities available Wednesday for residents without electricity.

Shower facilities at North Woodmere Park will be available daily from 9: a.m. to 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, please call 516-571-7801.

At Cantiague Park in Hicksville, the showers will be open from 8 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. For more information, please call 516-571-7057.

1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reports: Long Islanders Cope With Outages

Free movies will also be shown at the Harry Chapin Lakeside Theatre at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow at 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday nights. Tonight’s selection is “Iron Man 2″ and Thursday’s is “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.” For more information, call 516-572-0200.

In Suffolk, state insurance officials and the Red Cross have established an informational center at the H. Lee Dennison Building in Hauppauge to assist the public with filing insurance claims and to help find temporary housing.

The Red Cross is also providing hot lunch, water, snacks, clean-up kits, and coolers at Cathedral Pines County Park from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. today.

At the Suffolk County Sheriff’s offices in Riverhead and Yaphank, they are giving free ice on a first come, first served basis to people without power.

WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs In Southampton

In the Hamptons, “lucky” is the word you hear a lot when you talk about Hurricane Irene.

“We are very lucky compared to what’s been going on elsewhere,” said lifelong resident Dave Smith.

The summer playground for the rich and famous escaped the big storm with minimal damage. There was some beach erosion, some power outages, and a few trees came down.

Residents and business owners prepared for the worst and worried about the last big weekend of the summer.

Given this experience, how would you prepare for future power outages? Sound off in our comments section below…

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