Hempstead Town Slams LIPA for Utility’s Indifference to People with Special Needs; Officials Question Slow Power Restoration, Lack of Information

Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray and Councilman Gary Hudes slammed LIPA for the utility’s indifference to residents with special needs as they met with the Repetto family of Levittown, whose son, a paraplegic man who requires a constant source of electricity for medical equipment, has been without power for nearly two weeks. At a November 10th media briefing held at the Repetto residence, Murray and Hudes indicated that LIPA has been indifferent to the needs of the Repettos and other town residents with special needs that are still without power after Hurricane Sandy.

“The Repettos, like so many families throughout the Town of Hempstead, heavily rely on electricity to care for people with special needs,” stated Murray. “LIPA has, inexcusably, demonstrated a complete lack of compassion for these residents.”

Ziggy Repetto explained that his son requires specialized medical attention that is dependent upon a constant source of electricity. The family must constantly monitor the temperature of their home, as their son is unable to regulate his own body temperature. In addition, he also needs an electric-powered CPAP device to help him breathe. Electricity is also required to power his hospital bed, inflatable mattress and wheelchair.

Ziggy said that he has spoken with four LIPA supervisors, and the utility has processed six “action requests,” as he demands that his electricity be turned on. However, as the two-week anniversary of Hurricane Sandy approaches, the Repettos remain powerless.

“For families like the Repettos, who have relatives with special needs, the restoration of power is a serious matter of health and safety,” said Hudes. “LIPA has left these residents in cold darkness for too long.”

Murray and Hudes cited information on LIPA’s website, which states that over 33,000 customers in Hempstead Town remain without power, the most of any township on Long Island.

Supervisor Murray, who has visited many storm-ravaged communities and attended the anti-LIPA rally in Oceanside on November 9th, said that LIPA has not provided detailed information to the town or to residents about when power will be restored.

“Nearly two weeks after Hurricane Sandy, LIPA has not fully restored power, communicated effectively with its customers or given any indication as to when the job will be completed,” concluded Murray. “As we have seen here today with the Repetto family, LIPA has also put the health and safety of Hempstead Town residents at serious risk. We demand that LIPA restore power NOW!”