Long Island still a disaster two weeks after Sandy

The street in front of a home on Wynsum Lane is littered with contents of a flooded home in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy on November 9, 2012 in Merrick, New York (AFP Photo / Bruce Bennett)

More than two weeks after Superstorm Sandy ravaged the East Coast, thousands of homes and businesses near New York City remain without power as crews from across the country try to rebuild.

On Monday evening, the New York State-owned Long Island Power Authority confirmed that 56,000 customers were still powerless two weeks to the day after a historic tropical storm caused unimaginable destruction along the Atlantic Coast. That figure was updated early Tuesday to only 19,000 homes and businesses, and the LIPA now hopes to have the majority of those customers back on the grid by the evening.

Even with workers from around the US making the trip to help repair power lines and repair a section of the country that has experienced upwards of $50 billion in damages, according to some estimates, having electricity once again might be too little too late for some. The LIPA has so far restored service to more than 1.1 million clients, but others residing in areas ravaged by the storm are still wondering when their power will be restored. Because serious flooding and strong winds ripped up the area to a degree far worse than what a little rain would have done on its own, those in problem areas are likely to wait even longer. That’s not the only obstacle, though: now the LIPA confirms that an upgrade-in-progress of their computer systems is causing longer than usual delays.

“It is a huge computer system. After Irene we immediately accelerated that process, and even at that it is still an 18-month to two-year process,” LIPA Chief Operating Officer Michael Hervey tells the Associated Press this week. “We would have liked to have had it up and running for now, but it’s just such a large magnitude computer system that it takes that long.”

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