Fire, Blizzard Plague Businesses

LIPA, Verizon working to restore full service to shops near Main and New York Avenue.

The blizzard and a manhole fire continue cutting into business at shops near the intersection of New York Avenue and Main Street.

Maritza Rojas, co-manager of the Loft, said three of four phone lines were out of operation, music and internet service lost and credit and gift card use cut off or limited since the blizzard last week.  The store has been affected “enormously,” she said, but was hoping for restoration soon.

The Book Revue has been reporting similar problems.

Tuesday night’s fire cut power or phones to several businesses on New York Avenue, including Libutti Jewelers and Time Source Jewelers. The late-night fire sent gases into junction boxes in two businesses,  damaged glass windows and doors, and created a major carbon monoxide leak. No one was injured. Time Source regained power Wednesday but had to replace its storefront glass. "It's been a bad week," an employee said.

Marcus Orbuna, Libutti’s general manager, said the store, which was brightly lit Thursday evening, was being powered by LIPA generator. “We’re still trying to catch up” after losing power the day before Valentine’s Day,  who said the store might expect more sales the after the holiday.

 Across Main Street from the Loft, Spa Adriana said its phone service was interrupted by the manhole fire that set off explosions late Tuesday night in two New York Avenue businesses. Co-owner John S. Vater said, “We’ve had a plethora of problems. This is the second time since Sandy we’ve lost service. We ended up having to do business by forwarding calss to my cellphone. It definitely hurt Valentine’s business.”

John Bonomo, spokesman for Verizon, said the repair of phone lines was complicated by electrical problems. Once LIPA gave an all-clear, he said, Verizon crews  were back at work. “We located a wet cable, at a spliced cable. We are drying that out, hoping the moisture didn’t run further into the cable. We are drying it out as we do that, remaking the splice, and making sure it is good and true.  “It should restore (service) to 15 lines affected,” perhaps Thursday night, he said.


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