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Looting Becomes Problem On Long Island’s South Shore; LIPA Under Half A Million Outages

Long Beach, New York (credit: Barbara Byrne Wagner)

Long Beach, New York (credit: Barbara Byrne Wagner)

Superstorm Sandy

MASTIC BEACH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) - On Long Island, looting has become such a problem on the south shore in the wake of superstorm Sandy that state police are on patrol.

WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs On The Story

Homes there are missing front porches, roofs, and siding. Many roads are still flooded and wires are down. Plus, boats and other debris litter streets and properties.

Some police are actually taking up temporary residence in some of the abandoned homes.

Mastic Beach resident David Crabtree called it a disaster, saying it was the worst damage ever there.

“My neighbor’s dock floated up on his house,” Crabtree told WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs. “All the boats he took out of the water, they all floated away.”

WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall: LIPA Is Working On The Problem

There were more than 436,000 Long Island Power Authority customers still without service as of early Friday. LIPA says it is focusing on restoring power along main roads, traffic signals and schools.

With the temperatures getting down into the chilly range at night and no food in the refrigerator, residents are asking when their power will be turned on.

“The electric lines don’t obey the boundaries of the towns and villages so they overlap quite a bit,” CEO Michael Hervey said. “I do realize everybody wants to know what’s going on in their communities so we’re working towards getting that type of information as we start to narrow down the outages.”

img 4142 Looting Becomes Problem On Long Islands South Shore; LIPA Under Half A Million Outages

LIPA crew at Richmond Avenue in Amityville on Nov. 2, 2012 (credit: Mona Rivera/1010 WINS)

LIPA’s Mark Gross said the vast majority of the utility’s customers are expected to be back on line by the weekend of Nov. 10.

“We ask customers to understand that some of these areas that have just been devastated by Sandy may take a little longer,” Gross said.

1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera with a LIPA crew in Amityville

Responding to criticism from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Gross said they are only focusing on getting the lights on and have brought in more crews from other areas.

But could the power company have done more before the storm?

“We plan for the forecast,” Gross said. “We told our customers based on that forecast, plan for five to seven days.”

The American Red Cross is out on Long Island, trying to do its part.

“We’re transitioning into the next phase, and that’s getting out into the communities,” Craig Cooper, National Spokesperson for the American Red Cross, told WCBS 880. “There are two ways that we’re doing that. The Red Cross has five feeding locations- three of them are in Suffolk County, two of them are in Nassau County – where, if people are able to get in their car and come to us, we can provide them with sandwiches, beverages, and fruit, something like that. No questions asked. If one person drives up and asks for seven meals, we’re happy to do that for them.”

Here is the name and location of each feeding site:

Nassau County:
Nickerson Beach Park – 880 Lido Boulevard, Lido Beach
Cedar Crest Park – 3340 Merrick Road, Seaford
Christopher Marley Park – 500 Searingtown Road, Roslyn
Suffolk County:
Riverhead City Center – 210 Center Drive, Riverhead
H.L. Dennison- 100 Veterans Memorial Highway, Hauppauge
Mastic Fire House – 1080 Mastic Road, Mastic

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