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LIPA Sends Out Customer Bills

Nearly 200,000 customers are well into week two without power.

Credit: David Reich-Hale
Credit: David Reich-Hale
As Hurricane Sandy pummeled Long Island last week, Levittown's Victoria Kalt Waterman joined more than 900,000 of her closest friends in the dark.

Unable to reach the Long Island Power Authority or turn on her lights, she has been there ever since. In the meantime, she shivered and the mail showed up. So did the Long Island Power Authority bill, which she has yet to pay. After 11 days without power, Waterman said on Facebook "I will send my payment 11 days late."

The timely distribution of bills have angered some ratepayers, who have otherwise heard little from LIPA, forcing them to depend on an outage map many have called inaccurate. 

In Greenlawn, Edward Woody Ryder IV said he lost power last Monday. After six days of watching that outage map on LIPA's site, there was light.

On the seventh day, there would also be a bill for $138. "We are in a first world country, but we have a fourth world electrical authority,"

Ryder said. "It's astounding. They could have stopped the automated bill system. They clearly know nothing about crisis communications. What they've done makes no sense. How they've handled this makes no sense."

Across Long Island, readers said they haven't been able to reach the power authority. The text messaging system LIPA pumped before the storm was ineffective - silent, according to some, including

Rena Barsh-Rudolph, who wrote to East Meadow Patch that "my husband signed up to get communication from them via text and we haven't heard anything in days."

Matt Harris of Huntington Station hasn't heard much from LIPA either, even though he hasn't had power for 10 days. As for the bill? Yes, that came "two days ago."

Debby Izzo, who owns Dirty Dawg, a dog grooming business in Bellmore, was more forgiving than most.

She wrote "billing is done by computer" and added that "LIPA office employees" are doing their jobs. Izzo added, "Don't hate. Maybe take notice to how many more bills are estimated rather than actual."

Ryder, meanwhile, said he would pay his bill, because he had no choice. "What am I going to do, not pay it?" Ryder said. "I have to pay it. Otherwise they'll send me a disconnect letter and turn my power off."

LIPA spokesman Mark Gross didn't immediately return a phone call requesting comment.

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This story was written by David Reich-Hale.
George November 08, 2012 at 02:58 PM
LIPA and its many crews from out of state seem to be moving through the village generally well....what's up with the Middle School? Also, Verizon (fios) and Cablevision (optimum) seem nonexistant when it comes to restoring telephone, internet and video services....

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