At a testy community meeting concluded this afternoon and chaired by Lawrence Mayor, Martin Oliner, it was decided to declare a state of emergency in the Village of lawrence, establish a curfew to go into effect this evening and close the village to non-residents.
The meeting which lasted over two hours featured an air of exasperation and despondency as the highest taxed county—Nassau County— and specifically the Village of Lawrence is staring at a full week without power in most homes, offices and business.
As to his communication with LIPA—the Long Island Power Authority—Mayor Oliner said forthrightly that almost everything they say is either blatantly not true or just straight out lies. He urged residents to e-mail Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office, Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano and LIPA Chairman, Howard Steinberg. In addition mayor Oliner said that OEM—the Office of Emergency Management—has been “totally ineffective.”
Village residents are concerned about when power will be turned on in the village as well as security to prevent looting and break-in in the village which submerged in total darkness come nightfall. “I’ve been on the phone at least several times each day since the storm with LIPA and all I hear from their people is lie after lie after lie,” Oliner said.
A committee was formed to contact the Shomrim patrol of Brooklyn to provide night time patrols in the village. Oliner said that he was assured by LIPA again this morning that all power in the village will be operational by Wednesday of this week. He said that he hopes that is so and not just more LIPA misinformation. Prior to the meeting the mayor met with Speaker Dean Skelos to enlist his help in recruit the direct and personal assistance of Governor Cuomo in getting power turned on here.
Oliner said that the Village of Lawrence is not flooded and there is no danger in switching on the power as may be the case in parts of Far Rockaway and Long Beach. Oliner added papers are being drafted to bring a lawsuit on behalf of Village residents against LIPA.
This story will be updated later this afternoon. For more info call 516-569-0502