As Hurricane Sandy pummeled Long Island last week, Levittown's
Victoria Kalt Waterman joined more than 900,000 of her closest friends
in the dark.
Unable to reach the Long Island Power Authority or turn on her lights, she has been there ever since.
In the meantime, she shivered and the mail showed up. So did the Long Island Power Authority bill, which she has yet to pay.
After 11 days without power, Waterman said on Facebook "I will send my payment 11 days late."
The timely distribution of bills have angered some ratepayers, who
have otherwise heard little from LIPA, forcing them to depend on an
outage map many have called inaccurate.
In Greenlawn, Edward Woody Ryder IV said he lost power last Monday.
After six days of watching that outage map on LIPA's site, there was
On the seventh day, there would also be a bill for $138.
"We are in a first world country, but we have a fourth world
Ryder said. "It's astounding. They could have
stopped the automated bill system. They clearly know nothing about
crisis communications. What they've done makes no sense. How they've
handled this makes no sense."
Across Long Island, readers said they haven't been able to reach the
power authority. The text messaging system LIPA pumped before the storm
was ineffective - silent, according to some, including
Barsh-Rudolph, who wrote to East Meadow Patch that "my husband signed up
to get communication from them via text and we haven't heard anything
Matt Harris of Huntington Station hasn't heard much from LIPA either,
even though he hasn't had power for 10 days. As for the bill? Yes, that
came "two days ago."
Debby Izzo, who owns Dirty Dawg, a dog grooming business in Bellmore,
was more forgiving than most.
She wrote "billing is done by computer"
and added that "LIPA office employees" are doing their jobs.
Izzo added, "Don't hate. Maybe take notice to how many more bills are estimated rather than actual."
Ryder, meanwhile, said he would pay his bill, because he had no choice.
"What am I going to do, not pay it?" Ryder said. "I have to pay it.
Otherwise they'll send me a disconnect letter and turn my power off."
LIPA spokesman Mark Gross didn't immediately return a phone call requesting comment.