Written by Cory Twibell Friday, 16 November 2012 00:00
With snow still on the ground and some Hicksville homes without heat and electricity, LIPA wasn’t given a warm welcome from residents outside the company’s headquarters at 175 Old Country Road on Saturday, Nov. 10.
A lively protest from several hundred local residents featured signs, chanting and an overwhelming sense of dismay following two storms and nearly as many weeks without power.
“It went better than I hoped it would go. We had a good turnout. It was the perfect location and perfect timing. Some results have been made and people have been getting power back,” said Joanne Feaster, of Hicksville.
Feaster, who helped organize the event, got her power back two days before the Saturday event but helped lead the rally cry for her fellow residents. She said that LIPA chief operating officer Michael Hervey even addressed residents’ concerns at the end of the day, noting how the organization needs “to improve the process” of communicating with its customers.
Chants like “heave ho, LIPA must go” and signs that read “honk for power” helped get the message across to the heavily scrutinized power company, and Feaster called the rally “quite effective” as some members of the Hicksville community had electricity back within hours of the protest.
“Toward the end of the rally I had one of the security from LIPA approach me and ask if there were still people who were at the rally without power. They had us send around a pad and had everyone put down their name, address and number.
“People were saying that within maybe 20 minutes to an hour of them being home from the rally, they were getting calls from LIPA supervisors, trucks were on their block and crews were working. Through Facebook, a lot of people were saying that they had gotten their power back,” Feaster explained.
However, as of Nov. 11, an estimated 50,000 residents in non-flooded zones were still without power, including some in Hicksville, according to LIPA officials.