As I write this, more than half a million LIPA customers in Nassau and Suffolk Counties are still without power. There has already been grumbling -- folks on the radio wanting to know why it is taking so long and Governor Cuomo talking about an investigation -- but if you take the positive view, they have restored power to somewhere around 400,000 customers in three days.
Though we have heard from friends around the Island who have their lights back on, we are still in the dark... and fairly far down the LIPA list. When they came to turn off the power yesterday so that the tree, which had been across the road and sitting on a pole and wires, could be cut down, they were then able to restore power to a few-block area just to the south of us. Unfortunately, two of our neighbors across the street, who had had power throughout, are now in the dark. So, we are now just four homes in need of a crew to restring the power lines to our houses.
On a positive note, both Laurie and I have power in our offices at work, so we've been able to recharge phones and laptops. We're becoming masters of cooking things on the gas grill; last night we had fried eggs, ham steak, and toasted English muffins all on the grill. We have been able to go to our friend Gudrun's house to shower and have dessert in the evening. And then we return home to watch DVDs on the laptop before heading to bed.
The lines at gas stations bring back memories of the oil embargo back in the '70s. Cars are lined up for blocks, many of the drivers pushed to sitting in lines by media reports of shortages. There are many people who need gas to run the generators they have powering their homes and others whose vehicles are very low on the fuel they need to get to their jobs, but there are also those who are in "panic mode" and will spend as much fuel driving around trying to find an open station as they will be able to purchase.
Local government officials continue to tell us that these shortages will be short-lived, especially since part of the problem is that many stations don't have power to pump the gas. As the power is restored and the roads are cleared for deliveries, this will, hopefully, resolve itself without any nasty incidents.
Finally, here is the tree, in a photo taken by our neighbor, Danielle Geddes.