Over 100,000 Long Islanders remain in the dark tonight

Candles light up the inside of a home in Holbrook, NY, after losing power from PSEG Long Island during Tropical Storm Isaias.

LONG ISLAND, NY (OnSachem.com / OnTownMedia.com) — Over 100,000 PSEG Long Island customers remain without power tonight, and they will begin yet another night with no lights and air conditioning following the aftermath of Tropical Storm Isaias, which roared through the region on Tuesday, blowing over trees, tearing off tree branches, and ripping power lines from poles and homes.

This morning, Town of Brookhaven Highway Superintendent Daniel Losquadro told OnSachem he needs double of the number of PSEG LI crews to work beside town crews during the storm's aftermath. Then several hours later in the afternoon today – citing "failure," "collapse," and "frustration" – Losquadro and Town of Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine issued a joint statement harshly criticizing PSEG LI's storm response.

Also calling PSEG LI’s response a “failure,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo yesterday demanded an investigation into how the power utility prepared for and handled the storm. The governor was joined by local leaders – State Senator Monica Martinez (D-Brentwood) and State Assemblyman Doug Smith (R-Holbrook) – calling for a probe.

Cuomo spoke about the response again today saying, “We don’t pay for sunny-day service. We pay for everyday service, and the whole art form in the business is being able to prevent damage during the storm and quick recovery after a storm. That’s the essence of what we pay for."

According to PSEG LI, the storm caused power outages for approximately 440,000 of the utility's 1.1 million customers on Long Island.

PSEG LI provided the following update as of 6:30 p.m. Thursday. The update is presented in its entirety from PSEG LI.

• PSEG Long Island continues to make strong progress restoring customers affected by Tropical Storm Isaias. As of 3:30 p.m. today, fewer than 120,000 customers remain without power, a reduction of 15,000 since noon.

• PSEG Long Island estimates 85% of customers will be restored by end of day Friday, with the remainder restored by end of day Saturday. Nearly 3,000 lineworkers, tree trimmers and other personnel are now working around the clock, in 16-hour shifts, until every customer is restored.

• Due to the large number of crews from other utilities brought into our service area before Tropical Storm Isaias, power restoration is progressing faster than can be displayed on the outage map. The map will fluctuate as we refine the data.

• While we have experienced issues with our communications systems, at no time did these challenges impact restoration efforts.

• More than 3,000 fallen trees or large limbs have been reported. PSEG Long Island tree crews and contractors have already cleared more than 500 locations. They will continue to work nonstop to continue to clear debris.

• PSEG Long Island is assisted by workers from New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Florida, Alabama, Kansas and Missouri. Many arrived before the storm began and were immediately available to start restoration work yesterday afternoon.

• Crews will work to restore critical facilities first, followed by outages affecting the largest numbers of customers, and then address outages affecting small numbers or individual customers.

• In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, we have adapted our storm and safety procedures to follow public health guidelines and industry best practices. We thank our customers for their patience as we operate under these unusual circumstances to safely restore power as quickly as possible.

• Our goal, always, is to restore power safely and as quickly as possible. We ask our customers for a fair amount of patience and to know we will be there just as soon as it is safe.

Customer Safety:

• Downed wires should always be considered “live.” Stay at least 30 feet away from downed power lines and immediately call 911 to report downed wires.

• Electric current passes easily through water, so stay away from downed power lines and electrical wires. Don't drive over – and don't stand near – downed power lines.

• Downed lines will be hard to see in the rain and can potentially be hidden in standing water. If you encounter large pools of standing water, stop, back up and choose another path.

• The safety of PSEG Long Island’s customers and employees is the company’s top priority. We ask that customers remain in their homes while crews are working nearby. If customers must speak with our crews, we ask that they practice responsible physical distancing and remain at least 6 feet away to ensure the health of everyone involved. 

Other important safety notes:

• To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, do not run any gasoline-powered generators in a garage or any other enclosed space.

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