NEW YORK (AP) — Even as the lights came on for many who lost power in New York and New Jersey during the superstorm and a later nor'easter, hundreds of residents protested Saturday outside a Long Island utility, frustrated by its slow response to outages.
Power restoration has been slower there than in other areas hit by Superstorm Sandy, sparking criticism of the Long Island Power Authority. Some of the 130,000 blacked out homes and businesses the utility serves may not have power restored until the end of Tuesday, according to LIPA.
In the rest of the region hardest hit by the storm, most service was expected to be restored by the end of the weekend, though that doesn't include tens of thousands of homes too damaged to juice up.
"We are sitting in a cold house. No one comes by," said John Mangin of Levittown, N.Y. "There should be criminal charges against the CEO and the executive board of LIPA for failure to do their jobs."
He was among about 300 people staging a rally in front of LIPA's office in Hicksville, N.Y. Not all were without power, but some who have power said they were there to protest LIPA's lack of communication.
LIPA Chief Operating Officer Michael Hervey said the utility was aware that customers haven't gotten the information they've needed from it, partly because of an outdated information technology system it's in the process of updating.
"I certainly feel the frustration of customers whose power remains out. Our hearts go out to them," Hervey said.
But he said workers are repairing unprecedented storm damage as fast as they can. About 6,400 linemen and 3,700 tree trimmers are at work, compared with 200 linemen on a normal day.
In Suffolk County, where about 28,000 customers remain without power, County Executive Steven Bellone announced he was cutting ties with LIPA and would deal directly with substation coordinators.
Hervey said he would not comment on that directly, but added that an ad hoc takeover of the system would lead to anarchy.
"The utility is the best suited to restore power and manage that," he said. "We can't have people step in and take over."
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has called for an investigation of the region's utilities, criticizing them as unprepared and badly managed. On Friday, two congressmen from Long Island called for the federal government to help LIPA restore electricity.
"It's a totally disorganized effort, and LIPA unfortunately seems to have lost control of the situation and that's why you see so many people becoming so angry," Rep. Peter King said Saturday.
In New York City and neighboring suburban Westchester County, utility Con Edison said about 11,400 customers remained powerless, down from a peak of more than 1 million. The number of remaining outages doesn't include about 30,000 Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island homes and businesses that the utility says are too damaged to receive power for now.
In New Jersey, fewer than 85,000 customers were without power Saturday, most along the coast. That was down from 2.7 million at the height of the storm. Most were expected to have power by the end of the weekend.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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