Two Weeks Later, Power Divide Remains In Hard-Hit Rockaways
While many in the hardest hit sections of the city have seen a return of power, heat and hot water, others can only look on with envy -- sometimes from just across the street. NY1's Vivian Lee filed the following report.
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Crews with the New York City Fire Department and city Department of Environmental Protection removed sand from sewers and catch basins on Beach 59th Street and others throughout the Rockaways Wednesday.
Dozens of blocks away, on Beach 90th street, Ricky Lopez continues powering his house with a generator. He says it was torture days ago when he saw the buildings across the street at the Dayton Towers complex go back online with power. He's still waiting for the Long Island Power Authority to come around to his place.
"Really wasn't too much damage in terms of electrical wires because an electrician came yesterday. It's just a matter of waiting for them. That's what we've been doing for 17 days," Lopez said.
"We got it on a few days ago. It was like you could hear a big roar of cheers when it came on," said another Rockaways resident.
It's still a tale of two types of households in the Rockaways: Those who have power and those who still don't in this third week after Sandy. LIPA has not returned calls for comment on why inspectors haven't been seen in the Beach 90s.
"We had an electrician give us the green light on this house. We still don't have power. LIPA needs to be held criminally responsible," said one Rockaways resident.
"Sometimes it feels like you're reliving the loss. I heard on the news last night that 99.9 percent of the Rockaways had power. I guess finally I'm the one percent of something," said another Rockaways resident.
Many residents say with little ones in the house, and no car, it's hard to get to the NYC Restoration Centers where officials from all three levels of government are standing by from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. to help residents and businesses reconnect their basic services and get paperwork for aid done.
Four centers opened Tuesday in Far Rockaway, in Gravesend and Coney Island, Brooklyn and on Hylan Boulevard in Staten Island. Three others are opening in Red Hook, Brooklyn, Breezy Point, Queens and Throggs Neck in the Bronx.
For more information, visit the city's website.