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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

Local veterans groups and residents gathered at Hicksville Middle School Veterans Memorial Park recently to honor brave servicemen and woman, past and present. William M. Gouse Jr. Post 3211 hosted Hicksville’s annual Veterans Day ceremony on Nov. 11.

The ceremonies began with the pledge and national anthem sung by Hicksville High School student Cassie Pursoo, accompanied by trumpeter Conner Hoelzer. Monsignor Thomas Costa from Our Lady of Church in Hicksville gave the invocation.

On Nov. 10, a dedication ceremony was held to celebrate the completion of a beautiful new two-story house in Hicksville. However, while new dwellings are an ordinary occurrence on Long Island, this one was unique and special in a way that very few are.

The house at 77 Thorman Ave. was built in memory of Navy Lieutenant and posthumous Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Michael P. Murphy, a Long Island native who tragically died in combat while serving in Afghanistan in 2005. However, this house represents more than just the dedicated service of a man to his country; it represents the beginning of a new life full of hope for a brother-in-arms and his family as well.


Sports

Football was Mike Torrellas’ heart and soul. He also liked a good Turkey Bowl.  

Unfortunately, the Hicksville Crusaders co-founder wasn’t able to witness the program’s inaugural event, which took place Saturday, Nov. 8.

Torrellas passed away suddenly last December due to a blood clot, but the spirit and drive of the man who wore the number 53 and tragically passed at that age still surrounds the Crusaders football program.

The Long Island Fight for Charity will be hosting its 11th annual Charity Boxing Event on Nov. 24 at the Hilton in Melville. Among the 20 volunteers putting up their fists for funds will be Hicksville business owner Mell Goldman, who will be fighting under the nickname “The Kid.”  

Goldman is the President of All Boro Cleaning Services. He stated that he was enticed at the opportunity and wanted to contribute to charity.


Calendar

Model Railroad Open House

November 28-30

Popcorn Balls

November 30

Craft Fair

November 30



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