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Athena Slams Area One Week After Sandy Visit

Overnight storm creates traffic jams, additional power outages as officials work to continue hurricane cleanup

Long Island couldn’t catch a break. Nearly eight days after Hurricane Sandy rocked the Northeast, a nor’easter dubbed Athena rolled in on Wednesday, Nov. 7. Raucous weather dumped snow mixed with rain and sleet, creating hazardous road conditions that made the easiest of trips resemble a scene out of The Day After Tomorrow.

Rush hour last Wednesday on Hempstead Turnpike showcased vehicles jockeying for position, struggling to make their way down slippery, icy roads. According to the Long Island Power Authority’s (LIPA) website, almost 60,000 customers lost electricity into Thursday morning because of Athena, with combined Sandy outages reaching 200,000 across the island by the morning commute. More than 140,000 were in Nassau County alone.

After Sandy arrived, LIPA reported almost thousands of outages in Levittown. Outages stretched throughout the entire metropolitan area.

“[The Nov. 7] storm has caused additional damage and power outages and we will continue to deploy our significant workforce to address all power outages,” LIPA said on its website after Athena hit. “[It] may impede our restoration efforts, because we must also ensure the safety of our workforce. Rest assured that our crews will continue to work as long as, and whenever, it is safe to do so. When possible, we will restore power to customers who have been without power for the longest time. Your safety and well-being remain our number one priority and we thank you for your continued patience during this difficult time.”

About 12,000 workers were out after the storm, trying to restore power. The authority asked that people stay clear of downed wires and be aware of areas impacted by snow, where wires and trees could be covered and dangerous.

Levittown, over the last two years, has been pummeled by the elements. Hurricane Irene ripped through the village in 2011, the rogue storm on Aug. 15 made the area look like Atlantis and now Sandy, coupled with Athena, pulled no punches. To say the least, it’s been a rough time for Long Island.