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Stretch Of Belt Parkway Remains In The Dark Due To Sandy Damage

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Drivers on the Belt Parkway may feel like they're in the dark because the street lights are still out along a stretch of the 25-mile highway.

As CBS 2's Tamara Leitner reported, some of the overhead lights on the busy roadway between Knapp Street and Flatbush Avenue were badly damaged in superstorm Sandy nearly 11 months ago.

"Immediatel,y it's frightening for me," driver Diane Moran of Brooklyn told Leitner. "I have the grandchildren with me in the car, and I go, 'Oh my God!' And they'll go, 'Grandma where's the lights?' And I'm going 'There is no lights.'"

When Sandy ripped into the south shore of Brooklyn, it destroyed the electrical system for about 150 street lights on the parkway. The lights still are not fixed.

"This is starting to get dangerous," City Councilman Lew Fidler (D-Brooklyn) told Leitner

Fidler said he reached out to the New York City Department of Transportation seven months ago, but he is still waiting for the problem to be fixed.

"It's just going to take one accident and one lawsuit," Fidler said. "It's going to cost the city more money than replacing the lighting from scratch."

The darkened stretch of the Belt Parkway is fairly desolate, with few homes and businesses.

Drivers said it's scary at night when the roadway is pitch black.

"I've seen cars pulled off, little accidents and everything along that little stretch," David Rowlette told Leitner.

"It's dark. You get used to it, but it would be nice to have some lights," motorist Jimmy Ferritti added.

When reached for comment, the DOT said it "is working to bring in temporary lighting units along the corridor in the coming weeks, and we continue to pursue federal reimbursement for permanent replacements."

In the meantime, drivers continue to worry.

"God forbid, something bad's gonna happen," said Moran. "Another car will hit you. So I have to drive slower and be more careful, and I keep waiting for the lights to come on."

The DOT did not say whether just the electrical portion of the lights or the entire units need to be replaced. The department also did not give a timetable for when the temporary lights will be installed.

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