National Grid continued to battle heat outages in Island Park on Thursday while residents coped with frigid temperatures, with almost all outages restored by early evening.
The number of outages in the community grew from 50 to 80 on Wednesday and Thursday, said National Grid spokeswoman Wendy Ladd. The gas company had restored heat to all 80 homes by noon, she said.
"We're staying here in case any new outages occur," Ladd said in the afternoon.
Then two residents returned home around 5 p.m. and found they were without heat, bringing the total to 82, Ladd said.
National Grid went to work on those two houses, which the company hopes are the final homes to lose heat, Ladd said.
National Grid has set up a command center in the area of Kingston Boulevard, which was hit hard by outages, said Ladd, adding that the post was scheduled to remain in the area overnight and Friday.
No customers have lost heat again after National Grid restored it, she said.
One resident smelled gas in his home after heat was restored, and National Grid temporarily cut his heat so it could safely address the problem.
The outages started occurring Tuesday because of moisture that accumulated in homes' gas regulators because of superstorm Sandy, Ladd said Wednesday. The moisture froze because of the drop in temperatures, and that blocked the flow of gas, she said.
The heat outages have caused anxiety in the neighborhood, where many homeowners are rebuilding from superstorm Sandy's destruction, said Kingston Boulevard resident Warren Parke, who lost heat on Wednesday morning. Parke's heat was restored that night.
"I hope they get things in order," he said of National Grid.
Ladd said residents whose regulators have been de-iced are not in jeopardy of losing their heat again.
"Residents don't have to fear losing their heat once it has been restored," she said.