Elwood residents left in the dark take charge of cleanup

ELWOOD - After spending days waiting for work crews to remove toppled trees and restore power, some residents in Elwood decided to take matters, and chainsaws, into their own hands.

Residents say their streets and yards are littered with downed power lines and trees, and that both the Town of Huntington and the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) have spent the past week pointing fingers at each other.

"They really should have been working together to fix the problem," says Mary Kate Szokoli.

Szokoli's neighbor, John Zbytniewski, says he couldn't take the back-and-forth any longer, so he teamed up with other residents to move the downed wires using plastic brooms and saw the toppled trees.

Town employees say they're working hard to help neighborhoods such as Elwood, where a mixture of trees and power lines has created a Catch-22 between agencies.

This morning, both LIPA and town crews finally descended on the area to repair power lines and clean up debris.

Power was restored to many in Elwood this afternoon.

LIPA: Irene damage more severe than initial estimatesLIPA: 90 percent of customers will have power by FridayCuomo: NY outages could last daysLIPA press conference on Irene recovery

MyPics: Hurricane Irene on Long Island

Report an outage to LIPA onlineLIPA Outage MapLIPA FAQ on Irene DamageDisasterAssistance.gov1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY)

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