NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – One of the most enduring and painful images from Superstorm Sandy was the smoldering barren wasteland, the scorched swath that is Breezy Point, Queens.
It was there that 130 homes burned to the ground. And as CBS 2’s Don Dahler reported, 17 of those families say they plan to sue the Long Island Power Authority.
Three months after Sandy, a large section of Breezy Point looked like a wasteland. Empty, bulldozed lots alternated with some charred bones of 130 homes where people used to live.
On Oct. 29 when Sandy hit, a wall of flames marched house to house, consuming everything in its path.
And the families now suing have said that while Sandy may have caused the flooding and the wind, it was LIPA that obliterated the homes.
The families contend the utility should have cut the power ahead of Sandy’s surge. They say ocean water coming in contact with energized wires sparked the wind-fueled fireball that ravaged the neighborhood.
The families have started the process to sue the power company for at least $1 million each. They said LIPA could have saved their homes if they had followed company protocol and turned off the electricity to the neighborhood.
“The preliminary reports that have been issued by the Fire Department, at least verbally, are that the fire was started by sparks caused by seawater coming in contact with the live power,” said the plaintiffs’ attorney, Nick Papain.