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Officials Demand LIPA Work Quicker To Restore Power, Improve Communications With Customers

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

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

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Superstorm Sandy

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The Long Island Power Authority is feeling the pressure to get service restored to hundreds of thousands of customers who remain without electricity a week after Superstorm Sandy ravaged the area.

Just over 255,000 Long Islanders remained in the dark Monday, down from more than 935,000 immediately after the storm.

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano said many of the outages are affecting communities on the shoreline — from Massapequa to Island Park on the South Shore and from Bayville to Great Neck on the North Shore.

LISTEN: WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs On The Story In Valley Stream

“Nassau County has been hurt and hit harder than our neighbors and that’s where we need the additional attention,” Mangano told WCBS 880. “We have to move on and get this electricity on or tell the people who is getting it and who is not getting it.”

LIPA was expecting to have all customers back up and running by Wednesday evening, CBS 2’s Ann Mercogliano reported.

“We’re all taking it day by day,” Patty Maraldo, of Island Park, said.

Rep. Peter King and Mangano are calling on the utility to work faster at getting power restored and improve communications with its customers.

“LIPA’s failure to keep customers informed of the latest information on conditions and improvements is simply unacceptable,” King said in a statement.

King, the Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, said customers have been complaining about the “arrogant and unhelpful attitude” of many LIPA workers.

As residents try to recover from the storm, those still without electricity and heat are now faced with cooler temperatures and a nor’easter that could hit the area with strong winds and heavy rain on Wednesday.

WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs reported that for those like Carolyn Torres of Valley Stream, it’s been a full week in the dark.

She was all bundled up Monday morning and hoping to get power soon.

“They promised by Wednesday we’ll have something, but I’m not really too optimistic at this point,” she said.

Fortunately, Torres has a fireplace.

But she doesn’t think she’s going to stay on Long Island very much longer.

To help cope with the cold, the Town of Hempstead has opened 13 warming centers and is offering warm showers at an athletic center in West Hempstead.

The Town of Brookhaven has also extended the hours of operation of its seven warming centers. They will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

With the approaching storm, King and Mangano are also demanding FEMA rush more generators to Long Island to provide power to gas stations which have gasoline but no power.

King emphasized that “it is particularly important that this be done without delay.”