Crews with the Long Island Power Authority were nearly about to hook up electric to the St. Michael's Senior Housing Project in Amagansett late last month when they hit somewhat of a road block: nearly a million other customers throughout Long Island lost their power.
So after power has practically been restored to full strength following Hurricane Sandy – 353 customers were noted to be without power on Thursday morning, down from about 930,000 just after the storm – Assemblyman Fred Thiele announced on Wednesday that after giving LIPA a nudge, power is expected to be turned on at the project by Friday.
"We had been reaching out to our representatives for assistance because LIPA was not responding to our repeated requests. This is great news," said The Rev. Katrina Foster, who leads the St. Michael's Lutheran Church, which has provided the land for the project.
Foster estimated that seniors moving into the 40 affordable units may be able to do so even by Christmas.
"The things we have left to do are pretty minor," Foster said, noting in particular some floor work, landscaping, painting, and alarms. "As soon as the electric is on - this was a major impediment, so hopefully by early next week we'll be getting a move on these things."
St. Michael's Housing Associates closed on the property Dec. 19 of last year, Foster said. Before anyone can move in, final approvals including a certificate of occupancy are needed.
The project cost roughly $11 million, and the 40 apartments are open to those 62 years or older with an annual income of $30,000 or less. A community center will also be built.
"Getting the lights turned on will help expedite the finishing touches and will ultimately get our seniors settled into their new homes quicker," said Thiele in a statement on Wednesday. "They've waited long enough."
LIPA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.