Residents Of Oceanside Vent Frustrations As Class Action Lawsuit Is Filed

MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The Long Island Power Authority said it is making progress, even as a class action lawsuit was filed against the embattled utility company on Tuesday.

The company said Tuesday that 99 percent of customers who are able to safely receive power have their lights back on following Superstorm Sandy and last week’s nor’easter.

That means there are still 10,136 outages in Nassau and Suffolk counties. LIPA officials have said they hope to have most of them back by sometime Wednesday.

A lawsuit was filed against LIPA and its partner, National Grid, on Tuesday.

Jason Abelove is among those taking his frustration to court. The Oceanside resident had five feet of water in his house and lost everything on the first floor, but what stung far worse, he said, was dealing with LIPA.

“It’s not just that they didn’t get the power on for 15 days and not just that they wouldn’t provide us with any information; it’s that they provided misinformation every step of the way,” Abelove told CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff.

Attorney Ken Mollins said the lawsuit will make LIPA answer as to why improvements weren’t made after Irene.

“The people of Nassau County and the people of Suffolk County are entitled to an explanation,” Mollins said.

A lawsuit, though, won’t help the people on Anchor Way in Oceanside get their lights turned on.

“Don’t get me started. This was handled so poorly,” resident Nancy Isdith said.

The 99 percent figure also doesn’t include 35,000 customers, mostly in the Rockaways, who suffered flood damage.

The utility said those people need electrical repairs on their property before power can be restored. The majority of those customers — 27,000 — are in the hard-hit Rockaways, which are served by LIPA.

For those needing electrical work, LIPA said it has set up assistance centers to help with the process of restoring power.

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Those centers are located in the following areas:

  • Island Park Village Hall: 127 Long Beach Road, Island Park, N.Y. 11558
    Hours: 7  a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Oceanside Park Hours: 3800 Mahlon Brower Drive, Oceanside, N.Y. 11572
    Hours: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Cedar Creek Park Hours: 3340 Merrick Roadd, Seaford, N.Y. 11783
    Hours: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

LIPA said customers could also submit electrical certificates via fax to 631-844-3643 or e-mail

A court will determine just how large the class action lawsuit could be. The suit could potentially include hundreds of thousands of affected customers.

LIPA, meanwhile, had no comment on Monday about the lawsuit, saying it continues to focus on restoration.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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