This week's recovery from Hurricane Irene has been extra difficult for those who remain without power. Over the past several days, during my travels throughout the Third Senate District, I have seen hundreds of trees down, power lines damaged, and significant flooding, the latter of which fortunately receeded quickly. At my district office, we have continuously fielded calls and emails from constituents without power, and those with friends and relatives without power. I have been pleased with LIPA's responsiveness to my requests for individual assistance, most importantly, to those residents with disabilities or otherwise requiring immediate relief.
Unfortunately, we have also fielded many complaints from local government officials as well as residents and businesses about the lack of communication and responsivensess from LIPA. As Chairman of the State Senate's Consumer Protection Committee, I take it very seriously that we are fielding so many complaints so similar in nature.
There are many hardworking individuals working hard everyday to finish restoring power to the Long Islanders still in the dark almost a week later. I thank them and ask them to please continue to give their best efforts to completing this very time sensitive task.
As we move forward, and further assess the damage of the storm, as well as LIPA's response, we will have an opportunity to learn critical lessons, both good and bad, that can guide all Long Islanders moving forward. This isn't the first act of nature to impact Long Island and certainly will not be the last. If we are not always seeking to improve our systems that are in place, we are regrettably losing a valuable opportunity to improve our quality of life.