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A Week After Storm, Long Island Residents Losing Their Cool Over Power Outages: 'Like Living In A Sauna'

ROSLYN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- It's another day of extreme heat, and tens of thousands of people across the Tri-State Area still do not have power.

More than 34,000 customers are out in New York, and 32,000 of them are on Long Island.

Mel and Robin Kleinman of Woodbury told CBS2's Jennifer McLogan they threw out $1,000 worth of food. It's been seven nights since they haven't had power. They temporarily hooked up to a power strip to charge their toothbrushes and cell phones. An electrical cord runs across Sparrow Lane from friendly neighbors.

The Kleinmans showed McLogan dozens of text messages from PSEG Long Island.

"I don't trust them. I don't believe them. Nobody's organizing," said Robin Kleinman. "I feel like a child teased with a lollypop."

"My father always said, may he rest in peace, that fish stinks from the head down," Mel Kleinman said.

They call PSEG Long Island leadership mismanaged.

While McLogan was there, a crew of subcontractors suddenly rolled by - unfortunately, they were on their way to another job.

"Extended outages like this are unacceptable," said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran.

County leaders are demanding ratepayer reimbursements. Trees remain toppled. Restoration continues, but no promises yet from PSEG LI on timing.

"This was a storm we all knew was coming and was predicted to be much worse than it was," Curran said.

"The information that PSEG Long Island has been giving us has not been accurate," said Port Washington homeowner Paul Hayt.

Hayt, and his son Ben, are among those hooking generators. They're desperate to keep their pond of koi fish alive.

"Without oxygen and water flowing, they would die pretty rapidly," Paul said.

Next door, the Pecks also depend on a portable gasoline generator.

"We shut it off overnight because we are worried. It has gas and oil," said Lindsay Peck.

Nassau's fire marshal reports an uptick since the storm in carbon monoxide calls.

"Do not, under any circumstance, fill a running generator, or fill a generator that is warm to the touch," said Nassau County Fire Marshal Assistant Chief Michael Uttaro.

"Gasoline can become combustive, right?" said Port Washington homeowner Wanda Matthews.

She brought her son Donovan to learn from the experts that their generator should be positioned or even installed professionally.

"We are all trying to raise our families the best we can in the middle of this pandemic and we have no power," she said.

As CBS2's John Dias reports, it's not the summer soundtrack those living in Roslyn thought they would be listening to, but the hums of generators are still blaring.

"For a four or five hour storm, very frustrating to be without power with a 3-year-old at home," resident Brett Maslin said.

"With today's technology, not pleased at all," said Louis Ligeri. "Very disappointed."

With more than 400,000 outages, Long Island suffered more power failures than any other region in the state.

Click on the links below for information from utilities in your area.

New York:

New Jersey:


David Thall hired someone to clean up the mess in his backyard, but has to wait for PSEG Long Island to fix the downed wires first. He has no idea when that will be.

"We have been running the generator all day every day for a week, and it's been tough," Thall said. "Just sitting with a fan."

With the pandemic and heat advisory, residents are growing irritated.

"We're all encouraged to stay home during this health crisis, and now we are staying home and we have no power," said one woman.

"It's brutal. It's like living in a sauna. It's an absolute nightmare," a man added. "We will be driving around and living in our car out of the day. We'll be vagabonds for the day in our car air condition."

Due to the extended power outage, PSEG Long Island opened five customer outreach centers. Crews passed out free water and ice, knowing residents will need it in this heat.

"This is like the third out of four days I've come to get water and ice," Hicksville resident Peter Ramos said.

Ramos said the utility company is failing in many ways. He took a photo Monday afternoon of the Nassau Coliseum parking lot full of trucks not working, when crews should be doing 16-hour shifts. He also said three different survey teams came to his house, but still no power.

"It's wasted energy, it's not efficient. They're coming to recheck, and they don't know about it," he said.

In a statement, PSEG Long Island said "crews must prioritize critical facilities first, followed by outages affecting the largest numbers of customers."

The company expects power to be restored for most customers by Wednesday night.

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