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Denenberg Provides Updates for Residents

Editor's Note: The following is from the office of Legislator David Denenberg.

LIPA has taken over the inspection process in Nassau County.  

The new format will not require inspectors to go door to door in all areas south of Merrick Road. Crews are already out in the Bellmore-Merrick-Wantagh area assessing portions that did not receive dangerous levels of storm surge and therefore do not need individual inspections.  In an attempt to avoid confusion, LIPA is asking that you do not contact them.   

They will contact you if they need to enter your home to assess damage.  They will leave a number, which will not be publicized, for you to call only if they assess that you need an individual inspection.  When you call, they will set up an appointment to return. Because LIPA will not have to visit every home, they can't give estimates on when they will be there.

Crews are currently out working through the storm to restore power to all locations as quickly and safely as possible.  Receiving a positive inspection does not mean power will be restored immediately.  There is still a lot of damage to lines south of Merrick Road, and power can't be restored to all areas until lines are fixed. 
 
For Homes and Blocks North of Merrick Road with No Power:
 
LIPA is currently working on repairing all lines within their grid.  For most areas north of Merrick Road, power is restored to the main lines, and repairs are now being worked on along individual lines.  

Crews are out working to repair these lines as quickly as possible.  The initial timeline was to get all of the repairs done by 11 p.m. Wednesday.  However, due to the stormy conditions, crews can not work with the same speed and, therefore, individual repairs are taking longer than expected.  We will give an update on a revised timeline as soon as we get it from LIPA.
 
From Our Office:
 
On last Thursday, following inspections with a VP from LIPA throughout the district as well as Doug Finley from L and M Publications, Dave became aware there was a concern that salt water might have compromised panel boxes.  Upon becoming aware of this, Dave spoke with Mike Hervey, C.O.O. of LIPA, who said that this would require cooperation from the towns to inspect and ensure that there was no problem.  

Upon inquiry, Dave learned that this had not yet been done, but would be discussed with them the next day.  The next day, Suffolk County and its towns agreed to contract with inspectors.  In contrast, in Nassau County, the towns still refused to take any part in this.  Nassau County, with a push from Dave, agreed on Tuesday. 
 
Nassau County's contractors got into the field, but, their telephone system was not equipped to handle the volume of the calls.  They set up an 800 number, but that took time to set up, made worse by the fact that the Suffolk County contractors number was forwarding calls to a number that had not yet been set up.  This caused numerous problems in communication, which were only made worse by the inability to get answers out.
 
The hope is that this new system, requiring much less individual inspections, will not cause the same communication issues.
 
We will update as we learn more.
Paul November 08, 2012 at 03:02 PM
Not accurate. Just met inspector and signed paperwork to clear my house on Cheryl Road. This was around 2:15 pm on 11/8.
John Rossi November 08, 2012 at 04:08 PM
Legislator Denenberg, First, thank you - as always - for the leadership you provide. I wanted to take a moment to extend praise to the LIPA teams that just left Shaw Drive in North Merrick. The neighborhood lost power around 1 am this morning. A two-man team from National Grid arrived first and surveyed the situation and identified breaches involving two separate transformers which feed power into the neighborhood. Tree limbs and large branches further compromised the streams of electrical and telephone wiring in the backyards. Within an hour a team of tree specialist arrived and they quickly tackled the web of wires and branches. A second team of linemen (from Rocky Point, North Carolina) arrived and addressed all the technical components involved in the restoration. LIPA representatives oversaw all of these individual – and time consuming – tasks. Everyone was professional, courtesy and certainly capable. I know these words don’t make the dozens of residents still without power feel any better but I felt compelled to share this positive experience. John Rossi
Paul November 08, 2012 at 06:48 PM
John, thanks for letting us know that at least on one occasion LIPA/National Grid got it right. I hope this is happening more often than not. Unfortunately my experience as customer residing south of Merrick Road does not support the case for LIPA's competence. The inspection precondition process has been mismanaged and very poorly communicated. Only through Dave's efforts have I been able to gain any understanding of this convoluted and half-baked procedure. Dave is an outstanding public servant and as such is indeed a rare example of a dedicated, hardworking local elected official He stands far above the majority of feckless politicians who inhabit the County Legislature and government of the Town of Hempstead. He lives up to his campaign slogan "nobody fights harder."

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