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Letter: Sandy On Sandy

My power went out at 2 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 29 as a result of Hurricane Sandy. We had no electric, heat or phone service. Before the outage occurred, we had called LIPA and told them the wires were arcing. They sent the Hicksville Fire Department, who really could not help us. I saw arcing continue until it involved the transformer. I saw the spark and then we lost power. One secondary line came down at that time.

On Tuesday, Oct. 30, a LIPA truck came down to fix the secondary line but they did not look at the transformer. I started to go down to speak to them but they raised their hands to block me and told me to stay away. Then they left. On Wednesday, Oct. 31, most of our block had power restored with the exception of our group of 10 houses at the end of the block.

We continued to call LIPA. On Thursday, Nov. 1 and Friday, Nov. 2, we called Congressman Steve Israel’s office to ask for his help. There was no return call. One of our neighbors called Peter King’s office and was repeatedly given information that our power would soon be restored but nothing happened. On Saturday, Nov. 3, my wife saw a LIPA truck in a local shopping mall parking lot but when she asked if they could help, they politely replied that they did not have our particular grid on their project map and could not help. They suggested she find a LIPA truck in our immediate area and talk to them. She searched but found no LIPA trucks.

The first time I saw a LIPA supervisor was on Sunday, Nov. 4 when a LIPA panel truck came down our block to survey the damage. He said his paperwork showed we had a disaster with wires down and a pole down, which was not the case. He looked more closely and then said we had a “quick fix” but that after working 12 hours, he was too tired to climb the pole.

On Tuesday, Nov. 6, another LIPA supervisor said they could not restore service until Thanksgiving. He also claimed that we had – by LIPA standards – a disaster, but this was not true.

We continued in the next few days to call LIPA and report the outage again and again. Many of our neighbors called tirelessly on our behalf, even those who now had power on the block.

Then, on Nov. 8, the nor’easter hit. We got about eight inches of snow. The storm had brought down two houses’ phone/cable lines. They hung low but did not hit the street. Calls continued to LIPA in the hopes someone would return our call or come to fix the transformer. On Nov. 11, a call to the LIPA 1-800-490-0075 outage line said we would get a call back but that did not happen.

Then on Monday, Nov. 12, I spotted a utilities truck (crew brought in from Missouri) in the local Sears parking lot. I spoke to the supervisor and told him of our dilemma. He said they would be down shortly to check it out. About 45 minutes later, they arrived at 10 a.m., and without going up the pole, they used a tool that activated the transformer and power was restored.

Thinking back, when I spoke to the crew from Missouri, they had a map, which was so large and difficult to read that they asked me to locate the street where I lived on the map. The map had to be three by five feet. I have lived in Hicksville for 62 years and it took me more than five minutes to locate my street on the map. This is 2012. Paper maps? Where is the latest computer technology that the average person has at their fingertips?

No, our 10 houses did not suffer any severe damage. We were very lucky. Yes we endured no heat and some families left to sleep elsewhere as it was too cold to stay in their houses. We relied on the kindness of neighbors who had power and invited us in for meals. The occupants of one house who had elderly critically ill residents had to leave to go to the hospital to stay. Another neighbor left to stay with family as they had two small children. One elderly neighbor who had a severe heart condition left during the day but returned at night to stay in their cold house.

Unfortunately, one of our neighbors, out of complete frustration over the lack of response, acted a little irrationally by verbally threatening LIPA on the phone. But for the most part, we all stuck it out and just kept calling trying desperately to get someone down to check out the damage so it could be repaired.

At this time, I would like to publically thank all the men and women who came to help us.

John Sandy

Hicksville Resident

News

Looking for a place to work on your bedside manner and start a promising new career in the process? Look no farther than your hometown.

The Vocational Education and Extension Board (VEEB), a division of the county that oversees educational facilities such as the Fire Service Academy and EMS Academy, recently transplanted one of its facilities — The School of Practical Nursing — into a new location right in the heart of Hicksville, where they recently held an open house to celebrate their new home.

A group of like-minded local residents banded together and saved more than 200 area trees from the chopping block — for now.

A state judge ordered Nassau County and the Department of Public Works to stop cutting down trees along South Oyster Bay Road, granting a temporary restraining order to a group of residents spearheading an effort to save the trees.

State Supreme Court Judge Antonio Brandveen scheduled a hearing on Thursday, Oct. 16 for the county to address complaints from residents, in particular a group called Operation STOMP (Save Trees Over More Pavement) founded by Hicksville native Tanya Lukasik.The Public Works department had planned to removed more than 200 30-foot trees in communities ranging from Plainview, Bethpage, Hicksville and Syosset.


Sports

The Girls Varsity soccer team, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, wore pink uniforms and pink socks in their game on Oct. 8 against MacArthur whom they defeated 1-0. The girls and boys soccer programs at Hicksville High School are selling pink ribbon car magnets with a soccer ball and HHS on it with the words “Kick Cancer” on the ribbon. All the money raised will go to the Sarah Grace Foundation, which is a local foundation trying to beat pediatric cancer. The players plan to raise $1,000 for this organization

— From Hicksville High School

Hicksville native progressing through Mets system

The Mets minor league system is enjoying a rare period of prosperity. For years, it was barren due to trading off high-ceiling players for major leaguers, or neglecting the draft in favor of the free agent market. Since General Manager Sandy Alderson took over, the organization has reversed course and put a much greater emphasis on player development. During his second-to-last season, however, former GM Omar Minaya took a chance and drafted a local catcher, Cam Maron, out of Hicksville High School in the 34th round.


Calendar

Board of Education Meeting

October 22

Oktoberfest

October 25-26

Pancake Breakfast

October 26



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com