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Update: LIPA Crews Tackling Major Problems in Port Jefferson, Terryville

Residents already going a week without power might have to wait a little longer in hard-hit Port Jefferson/Terryville area, according to LIPA.

Residents in Port Jefferson have been without power for a week and it may be a little longer before full power is restored but the crews are out tackling the problem, officials say.

Mayor Margot Garant forwarded Patch information from Sen. Ken LaValle, R-Port Jefferson, that there are 40 major jobs that LIPA is working on in the area and of those, 12 are major "main line" jobs.

“That is a major line on a major road that feeds the power to smaller roads, then to neighborhoods,” said the report from LaValle. “This damage they related is as close as Route 25A in Port Jefferson and as far away as Route 347.”

LIPA will drilldown from these larger jobs to smaller ones and then to individual neighborhoods.

“Once the 40 major jobs are cleared, which LIPA says with the amount of manpower they have on this, could very well be later today, they will move to 26 smaller jobs (what they call the branch circuits) and then down to individual streets where wires are down,” LaValle said. “The good news is, once those major jobs are done and energized, some folks could very well be up and with power (fingers crossed).”

There was no specific timeframe given as to when all these jobs will be completed but Mark Gross, spokesperson for LIPA, said the utility intends to get power back to 90-percent of its customers by Wednesday and then take all of the work crews over to the areas hit with the most physical damage – including Port Jefferson.

“There are those areas that have mass devastation, those areas around St. James, those areas around Port Jeff, and those areas around Brookville, that will be longer because there’s so much damage and so many jobs,” Gross said. “What we’ll do is we’ll try to clear the deck on all those other jobs outside of those and then we’re going to take the workforce of 7,000 to 8,000 and be able to just flood those areas.”

Residents have told Patch that the areas around Shore Road in Mt. Sinai and Crystal Brook Hollow Road in Port Jefferson have seen extensive damage and downed power lines, among other neighborhoods.

“There are main power lines down on Old Post Rd and Crystal Brook Hollow Rd,” reported one reader. “The trees and debris have been cleared. Transformer separated from pole laying on someone property on Crystal Brook. We are cold!”

LaValle also said that the damage in Belle Terre is extensive.

“There is a great deal of tree damage and there are more than a dozen jobs that LIPA is working on,” he said.

“Hawthorne street in Suassa park took a big hit; we had several big old oaks come down taking out the power lines that are still hanging across the street,” said April Quiggle. “My neighbor lost a tree across California. The tree crews cleared the trees and branches from the wires but we haven't seen a utility crew yet.  When we call LIPA we get the same general info everyone else is getting. Extremely frustrating.”

One reader emailed a picture of a transformer that had been hanging over Shore Road West in Mt Sinai since the storm first hit.

“Road is impassible by truck bus and as it lowers inches a day soon by car,” the reader said in an email over the weekend. “Very dangerous.”

By Monday on Shore Road West, crews were out cutting trees and replacing damaged poles.

One worker with a crew that came all the way from an area “west of Toronto” estimated having  the neighborhood repowered by the next day.

“No promises,” he said.

He also said that the crews from out of town were sleeping in trailers set up by FEMA describing the tight quarters as submarine-like.

“We’re not complaining though,” he said. “Some people don’t have power and lost their homes.”

LIPA told LaValle that crews are already in the village trying to get it repowered.

“On the Port Jefferson problem alone [LIPA] has 117 crew members working the problem,” he said.

Terryville was even harder hit, according to LaValle's report.

"They have 119 main line jobs that have to be repaired," he wrote.

Mount Sinai has 46.

Correction: An earlier version of this article attributed to the report to the Mayor of Port Jefferson. This is now fixed and the correct attribution is to state Sen. Ken LaValle who posted the report on his webste.

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Theodore Paul Penske November 05, 2012 at 11:11 PM
I understand that LIPA crews are working around the clock and applaud their effort. Their job is often a thankless one. I think a lot of the frustration comes from the lack of information we are receiving. I live near Ms. Quiggle and have had the same experience. We get the same general information. Just tells us, are we getting power Wednesday, as the LIPA outage chart predicts, over the weekend as the LIPA President has told media outlets or close to Thanksgiving as we have also heard from media outlets? We need to make plans for our families and pets. Your article does a great job describing the problem but, we arenot sure what exactly our situation is. Are we considered one of the 40 major jobs or are we one of the 26 branch circut jobs? Thank you Port Jefferson Patch for all you have done to keep residents as informed as possible!
Emma November 06, 2012 at 12:24 AM
I agree. I think a lot of the frustration directed at LIPA would be less if they were able to keep us informed of what type of job it is and how much longer we should expect to be out. If it's until Wednesday, fine. We can probably cope for another two days, but I have barely been able to be in my house for more than an hour or two at a time before I'm overwhelmed by the temperature and if this is going to continue more than a week, we all need to make plans to ride this out. The Suassa Park dealt with this during Irene for a few days, but this is definitely worse. It's really frustrating and I think we all appreciate the efforts the workers are making, keeping us better informed would be appreciated even more, though.
TPenske November 06, 2012 at 01:07 AM
In the months immediately folllowing Irene, LIPA made great strides to inform people of outages and updates. I even received a phone call late at night telling me my power had been restored after we lost it unexpectedly. This time around there have been no such updates. They do ask what number a resident can be reached at but, I have received no updates at all. Hopefully our situation will be resolved soon! Keep the faith Suassa Park residents!!!
Charles Backfish November 06, 2012 at 01:54 AM
As a Suassa Park resident, I am dismayed at (a) LIPA's inept response and (B) LIPA's total lack of communication after one week without power and temperatures near freezing. If terrorists wanted to incapacitate Long Island, all they would have to do is time it with a major storm and LIPA would make their goal a reality.
unknownauthor November 06, 2012 at 02:11 AM
I have started a petition to get some answers from our elected leaders, please sign. http://www.change.org/petitions/lipa-be-reevaluated-for-their-performance-and-get-another-utility-company
Brendan Duffy November 06, 2012 at 10:08 AM
Pretty soon now as temps drop even lower, we are going to have frozen pipes busting to add to the nightmare. 7 days was not acceptable and more than that as it will actually be, is absurd. If lipa says they will flood eorkers to port jeff after the rest are fixed, it is an admossion that they didnt contract enough help. ... And yet we pay such high rates! Unacceptable!!!!
ursula landman November 06, 2012 at 11:39 AM
1 little wire on Newport in PJS needs fixing. I have seen no one-called LIPA mult times-this is unacceptable-temperatures are plummeting, another storm is brewing-we have elderly,and small children on the blocks of Joline rd and Newport in these cold dark houses-I wish LIPA could tell us when they will fix Joline and Newport.
Liz November 06, 2012 at 01:13 PM
A little beacon of hope.... parts of Shore Road in Mount Sinai were restored last night and we saw crews working in the dark on the hanging transformer further south of us on Shore. It's certainly been a frustrating and difficult week (can anyone say gas line!!), but I'm trying to focus on my deep gratitude that my home and the lives of those I love were spared. Here's to light and warmth and shelter for everyone affected by Sandy!!!
Mels Ditties November 06, 2012 at 02:02 PM
Not to worry too much about frozen pipes...It requires several days with temps (all day, not just an overnight) with temps at/below freezing before you have the danger of freezing pipes....We have a "no heat before Dec 1" rule in my house...turning the heat "up" here means a whopping 64 degrees...after several years of this fuel saving plan, we have become quite aware of the "danger zone" ..... Extra LAYERED / LOOSE clothing...socks & slippers...extra blankets are our defense against the cold...It saves money and is much healthier than constantly running the heat...
Risa Palazzo November 06, 2012 at 04:53 PM
The day after the storm we thought the most logical place to go find out what was going on in Pt. Jeff was the village hall. Nobody was there. Not even a note on the door. I know they had no power, but there should be a generator there so that some officials could make it in and at the very list post a note telling you where to go for info & help. Very sloppy.
TPenske November 06, 2012 at 06:27 PM
They did-The village command center was up at the Port Jeff Ambulance Corp. Village officials were out in the village trying to assess damage. It was announced many times and with fear of flooding there was no way anyone would be there.
Deborah .G November 06, 2012 at 08:13 PM
Hey guys i know were all feelin down and frustrated and we all have a right to given the circumstances but please remember to still be kind and civil to eachother ,im seeing alot of people really losin it lately a guy cut me off in pj then gave me the finger, im being extremely passive these days because i have heard of a shooting and a stabbing for cutting in a gas line people cursing and yelling at undeserving first responders,a woman slapped a lady in the face at pathmark for takin the last loaf of bread, please everyone take a deep breath and before you lash out at someone remember that they too are going thru something. god bless and stay warm , my prayers are with all to stay warm and safe.sincerely chef deborah
TPenske November 06, 2012 at 08:48 PM
Suassa park has lipa crews!!!! Let's say thanks to these guys... They don't decide what jobs to do first... They go where they ate told! Thanks port Jeff patch and Mayor Garant for keeping us informed

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