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Those without electricity following Sandy weighing legal action against power companies

Nov 14, 2012

Those without Electricity following Sandy taking Legal action against LIPA

November 14, 2012 by Joshua Sophy

Frustrations are mounting on Long Island as residents continue to deal with the aftermath of the powerful Hurricane Sandy and the Nor'easter that followed immediately on its heels.

According to a CBS News and AP report, utility companies that have been slow to restore electricity to thousands of disgruntled residents of Long Island, which appears to be one of the most affected areas of the country from Sandy, are now facing legal action from those residents. Two electricity companies operating on Long Island have been named as Defendants in civil lawsuits in the last two weeks by residents who are frustrated their power had not been restored in a timely manner.

It was on Oct. 29 that Sandy swept ashore in southern New Jersey, causing billions of dollars in damage and virtually crippling one of the most populated areas in the country. Although the storm made landfall as a hurricane late that evening in New Jersey, the massive "hybrid" storm spread a swath of damage over a large area. Strong winds and a damaging storm surge eventually took its toll on Long Island's infrastructure, as well as many other areas in the storm's path, from the shore to hundreds of miles inland to Ohio and West Virginia.

Millions of people were left without electricity, a situation that became increasingly more dangerous and flood water rose and temperatures dropped. One of the more unique features of this so-called superstorm is that it "morphed" into a Nor'easter, a coastal winter storm that commonly drops snow and heavy, cold rains in the Mid Atlantic and Northeast.

In a lawsuit filed this week in New York Supreme Court, Long Island Power Authority, along with its contractor National Grid, were named as Defendants. The companies declined to comment on the pending legal matter to the press.

More residents who still remain without power several weeks following the storm are beginning to get frustrated with the pace of recovery. Some claim they've never been offered any assistance in their recovery, either from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or any state agencies, or utility companies. Residents contacted by CBS said they haven't considered a lawsuit against the company but said they'd tell the power companies to pick up the pace on restoring electricity.

Losing power to one's home likely will force them to find a temporary housing solution, and incur the costs of doing so. It will also delay the time at which they'd be allowed to return to their homes to begin their personal recovery efforts following the historic storm.

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