LONG ISLAND, NY (OnSachem.com / OnTownMedia.com) — For the fourth consecutive night, Sachem residents are among over 100,000 PSEG Long Island customers still without power since Tropical Storm Isaias hit on Tuesday. As the weekend begins, it will be a Friday night spent by flashlights and candles for lighting and open windows for the nighttime breeze instead of air conditioning.
Now that three-and-a-half days have passed since Tropical Storm Isaias hit on Tuesday and caused extensive power outages across Long Island, PSEG LI customers found even more challenges. Refrigerated and frozen foods that were perfectly good on Tuesday morning have since been discarded. Ice for coolers has become increasingly difficult to find in some stores as demand surges. Soiled clothes are piling up since washing machines and dryers are powerless. Even burglary and fire alarm systems are failing as the battery backups drain and cannot be recharged until power is restored.
As of 6 p.m. today, PSEG LI said fewer than 104,000 storm-affected customers remained without power. The number of outages is down approximately 4,000 from 9:30 p.m. yesterday when PSEG LI reported that 108,000 customers remained without power.
During the peak of the outages, the storm cut off electricity to over 420,000 of PSEG LI’s 1.1 million customers. Approximately 75% of the affected customers have power again.
“PSEG Long Island continues to make strong progress amid severe storm damage and estimates 85% of storm-affected customers will be restored by the end of today,” PSEG wrote in a Friday evening update.
However, some PSEG LI customers are noticing significantly longer estimated times for their power to return.
“While we expect the vast majority of customers to be restored by end of day Saturday, we are finding that each job is requiring more work than anticipated due to the extent of the storm’s damage,” PSEG LI wrote. “For example, many of the remaining jobs require multiple stages: tree removal, pole replacement, and restringing wires. While tree trim personnel are embedded with many line crews to maximize efficiency, this type of extensive job can still take a crew half a day and result in only 20 to 40 customers restored.”
PSEG LI then noted in its Friday evening update: "This may unfortunately push some restorations to Sunday, with the possibility that a handful of the most extensive jobs may be restored early Monday."
Over 3,500 lineworkers, tree trimmers and other personnel continue to work around the clock in 16-hour shifts, according to PSEG LI.
As customers repeatedly check PSEG LI's outage map for expected restoration dates and times, PSEG LI said the map is not always accurate.
"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," according to PSEG LI. "The map will continue to fluctuate as we refine the data."
Customers observed that the fluctuation can vary by one or more days, with updates accelerating or delaying estimated power restoration—and even going back and forth by hours and days.
PSEG LI will run six Customer Outreach Centers to provide free water and ice on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m, or while supplies last. The closest center to the Sachem area is located at 460 East Main Street in Patchogue. Additional centers are located at Babylon Town Hall, 200 East Sunrise Highway; 1650 Islip Avenue, Brentwood; 288 Pulaski Road in Greenlawn; 250 Willis Avenue in Roslyn; and Five Towns Shopping Center at 253-01 Rockaway Blvd, Woodmere.