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UPDATE: Power Outages Begin As Hurricane Sandy Nears

Strong winds knock out power to LIPA customers in Lynbrook, Lakeview and West Hempstead.

Hurricane Sandy is still 500 miles south of Long Island, but the winds already started to pick up Sunday night.

The first power outage was reported in Lakeview near the South Pond of Hempstead Lake State Park. According to the Long Island Power Authority, the outage affected 12 customers in the area but power has since been restored. 

Another outage, impacting less than five customers, was reported around 8 p.m. near Eagle Avenue in West Hempstead. LIPA expects power to be restored here by 10 p.m. Sunday.

Eleven customers living near the intersection of Peninsula Boulevard and Ocean Avenue in Lynbrook and 13 customers in the northern section of West Hempstead near Hempstead Turnpike were without power as of 9:45 p.m. LIPA had not yet assigned crews to fix these outages but was estimating that power would be restored to both areas around 10 p.m.

As of 8 p.m., LIPA was reporting a total of 70 outages system-wide, impacting 808 of its customers.

To report an outage to LIPA, call 1-800-490-0075 or text 'REG' to 695472 (myLIPA) and then 'OUT.' For more important emergency contacts, tips and links, click here.

In a statement released Sunday, LIPA told customers to expect heavy rain, flooding, and winds in excess of 50 miles per hour through the night that are likely to cause trees and branches to pull down power lines.  The company urged customers to "prepare and plan for power outages, which based on the current track could last between 7 to 10 days."

"Hurricane Sandy remains a threat to Long Island and its effects are already being felt and are expected to worsen throughout the day on Monday," read the release. "LIPA is prepared, our emergency restoration crews are ready, and extra crews and equipment are being mobilized."

However, the company did warn customers that during periods of dangerous storm conditions, its ability to respond to power outages and provide information about when power will be restored will be limited, adding, "while we will restore power to the maximum extent possible, the safety of the public and our workforce is the highest priority."

The utility company also reminded customers to:

  • Never touch or go near fallen wires, even if you think they are safe. Parents can use this opportunity to remind children that wires are dangerous. If you are in a vehicle that comes in contact with a downed wire, stay in your vehicle until help arrives.
  • Make sure you have a working, battery powered radio or TV and a good supply of fresh replacement batteries.
  • Have flashlights available for all family members.
  • If an electric pump supplies your water, fill spare food-grade containers with water for cooking and washing in anticipation of a possible power interruption.
  • Make sure all motor driven equipment, such as garage door openers, can be operated manually.
  • When using a portable generator, make sure all LIPA-powered equipment is disconnected. This will avoid severe hazards when reconnecting the power to your home or business.
  • Have a first aid kit at home and check its contents to make sure they are complete and up to date. If you have family members with special medical needs, such as insulin or other prescription drugs, check to make sure you have an adequate supply.
  • Do not use charcoal to cook indoors; deadly carbon monoxide gas can accumulate in your home.
  • If you have an elderly neighbor, be a Good Samaritan and check on his or her status. Even a quick telephone call during a storm can provide much appreciated assurance that help is nearby if needed.
  • Should an electric power interruption occur, all sensitive equipment, such as computers and TVs should be disconnected until service is restored
  • While LIPA does not provide generators to customers, if you have a generator we remind you to use it safely.

This story was updated at 9:45 p.m. on Oct. 28.

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