Bob and Pat Desmond of Miller Place.

Bob and Pat Desmond of Miller Place. Credit: Pat Desmond

Nearly all Long Island homeowners felt the relief of having their power restored by the weekend, but others — from the north to the south shores — were growing more frustrated after more than a week without cable, phone or internet service.

Integral services, from electricity to internet, went down for residents across Long Island soon after Tropical Storm Isaias hit Aug. 4, causing downed trees and power lines that resulted in 420,000 customers without power.

By 8:30 p.m. Saturday, PSEG had 44 active outages affecting 155 customers across Suffolk and Nassau counties, numbers that continued to dwindle throughout the day, according to its outage map. But outage stats for customers of Altice, the company that operates Optimum, and Verizon, were not disclosed by company representatives.

Lisa Anselmo, spokeswoman for Altice, acknowledged there were still customers without service but said they were few.

“Overall, the remaining storm-related issues to be addressed are impacting individual or small numbers of customers and require service visits to repair network or plant issues serving individual locations,” Anselmo said, adding that service calls are scheduled to address remaining issues on a “case by case basis.”

Verizon spokesman Steve Van Dinter also said there were some customers on the Island without services fully restored.

“Generally, as power has returned to areas [Verizon] Fios has followed soon after,” Van Dinter said in an email. “We are working through open issues for individual customers.”

Customers vent

Optimum customers on Long Island have complained of being without their phone, internet and cable services for days.

Among them are Plainview residents Stacy Borowka, an engineer, and her husband, Matthew. Although power on the couple's block was restored Aug. 7, their Optimum cable and internet service remains down.

“We’re both trying to work from home. We have three kids and it’s tough," Stacy Borowka said Sunday. "Sometimes you have to put a movie on for them. We can’t do any of that.”

Pat Desmond of Miller Place, said Saturday that because her home has no internet, she has been using her cellphone at a friend’s home.

“It’s just bizarre and very frustrating” that it was taking more time to get cable restored than it did to get power back, Desmond said. “It’s not the end of the world, but I am concerned. You would think a day or two, fine. But this is just crazy.”

Desmond, who is retired and lives with her husband, Bob, says their cellphone service is typically weak in their home, so they rely on their landline to make calls.

“My main concern is our phone,” Desmond said. “If there’s an emergency or anything, we have kids and grandchildren, and if anybody needs to get in touch with us, I’m not getting the call at all.”

Over the last week, the couple visited a nearby Optimum service store and called the customer service number several times, with no luck, she said. After talking with neighbors, she found that six others on her block have had similar experiences, she said.

“If somebody [from Optimum] contacted us and acknowledged us, that would’ve been nice. But we haven’t heard anything at all,” Desmond said.

In Copiague, Darrell Wilson and his wife, Brenda, have been without cable, phone and internet service since the day that Isaias hit.

“We’ve made many calls to Optimum, but you can’t even get through,” Wilson said Saturday. “I actually got two phone calls and one text message that said, ‘Congratulations, your service has been fully restored.’ When we run down to check, there’s nothing.”

After being loyal customers for years, Wilson said he is starting to consider switching providers after this experience.

“We’ve been here for 31 years. We’ve been loyal customers for many years and the impression I’m getting from them is basically: They don’t care,” Wilson said.

Anselmo suggested that customers restart their equipment if they experience problems after getting their power restored. She said customers will get a credit on their accounts for the days they had electricity but no service.

Anselmo also gave these instructions for those without service: visit optimum.net/support/outage, sign in with your Optimum ID and password.

Next, under “support,” located in the upper right corner, click "service status."

If there are no service issues listed but there continues to be a problem, customers can report a service issue on the site, send a message at optimum.net/chat, tweet @Optimumhelp or call 866-950-3278.

For Verizon customers, Van Dinter said to open a “trouble ticket” by calling 800-VERIZON.

Two state parks to reopen

In other storm-related news, the last two state parks on Long Island that hadn't reopened after Isaias struck — Smithtown’s Caleb Smith and Wading River’s Wildwood — will do so Wednesday as workers clear trees and downed branches, an official said Saturday.

All of the Island’s state parks now have power, including Wantagh’s 90-year-old Jones Beach, where one of the outages might have occurred on a rather antique line.

“They believe that was one of the original cables when the park opened,” said George Gorman, Long Island regional director, Office of State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, by telephone.

Starting with the largest state parks and progressing to the smaller ones, workers have cleared a tremendous amount of fallen trees and limbs, Gorman said, though some trails and areas remain closed even in reopened parks.

Valley Stream reopened Saturday morning, and camping at East Islip’s Heckscher resumes Wednesday, the same time as camping and cottages reopen at Wildwood, Gorman said.

“We did everything we could to expedite reopening,” he added.

With Vera Chinese and Joan Gralla

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