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LIPA Sends Out Customer Bills

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

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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Andrea November 12, 2012 at 05:48 AM
It makes me sick with the lack of compasion and respect people have for eachother. Long Island is in a critical state! Thousands of people lost their homes. People lost there lives!! Look at that poor women in Staten Island who lost her 2 small children. The power outages are not just from trees it is also from the major floodings from the oceans and the bays! Some people where prepared and some people werent and some could not afford it! It is not the LIPA workers it is the poor management! The biggest issue is the NO communication that thry have. It was the same issue when we had Hurricane Irene, LIPA did NOT communicate. This is what peoples complaints are. If LIPA communicated with everyone, people would not be so frustrated. Due to no power people are looting and breaking into peoples home because it is dark and they think no one is their. People are also stealing other peoples generators! Its the inconsiderate, insensitive and selfishness that some people should be ashamed of! My heart, prayers and Donations go out to everyone in need. This is one of the most devistating times on Long Island. People should be pulling together and not be so ignorant!
Virginia_Long Island, NY November 12, 2012 at 04:43 PM
Who do I send the bill to, for all of the food that I had to throw out - due to lack of refrigeration??
Frank November 12, 2012 at 07:07 PM
For that Virginia, you're out of luck. Directly from LIPA's website: Will LIPA reimburse me for spoiled food? LIPA is not liable for food spoilage or damage to customer property resulting from an act of nature, such as a major storm, which is beyond our immediate control. Stinks right?
Scott December 01, 2012 at 05:41 AM
Here's a simple truth: if you do not pay your bill, you will be shut off. You will do nothing but hurt yourself. Then you will have to pay an additional fee to turn it back on. Don't be idiots. People on balanced billing are getting billed for monthly usage based on your average usage throughout the year. At the end of the year, supposedly you will be discounted. Look at the big picture. Also, have your meter read and it will be discounted. Stop complaining and take your own action, but refusing to pay your bill will only spite yourselves.
Scott December 01, 2012 at 05:44 AM
Ann Elphick: don't tell people to not pay their bills. All that will happen is service disconnections. Believe me, LIPA will shut off the meter and leave a green card on your door telling you how much you need to pay to restore service.

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