Curran Demands Review Of PSEG Long Island's Response To Isaias

Sophia Hall
August 06, 2020 - 3:06 pm

SMITHTOWN, N.Y. (WCBS 880) — Tens of thousands of residents on Long Island are still waiting for their power to be turned back on days after Tropical Storm Isaias slammed the area.

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran continued to criticize PSEG Long Island, saying the utility should have been prepared with Plan B and Plan C when it comes to communicating with residents who have been trying to text and call in their reports of outages and downed wires.

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"I've been speaking with mayors, with faith leaders, community leaders, school board people, you name it, regular residents, they're incredibly frustrated and they say this new system came out of the ashes of the old one, and the old one came out of the ashes of the old one before that, and that there's a real level of frustration," Curran said. 

She is calling on the utility to perform a thorough review and develop a new plan to respond to future storms.

"This is something that we should be getting right," Curran said. "Hold them accountable for what happens going forward, for what happened before and then what they're going to do going forward."

Tiffany Lochan of Smithtown said her two children are in need of electricity because they have cystic fibrosis and depend on a nebulizer and refrigerated medication.

"Electricity is definitely very important in our household regarding air conditioning, nebulizer treatments and airway clearance, not to mention that their medications are refrigerated," Lochan said.

She tells WCBS 880's Sophia Hall that she's frustrated with the utility over the time it's taking to restore service and the lack of communication.

"All night long I had made probably more than 50 phone calls to PSEG to all the different numbers that are listed online, trying to text them to get updates and to tell them that we're out of power. I spent probably close to 24 hours before I even got a live person on the phone," Lochan said.

When she was finally able to speak with someone at the utility they told her the outage map shows she has power. She said at this point she does not know when her power will be restored.

"The technology that we have now there should be resources and things should be upgraded so that we don't have this problem every time that there's a storm," Lochan said.

PSEG Long Island spokesperson said 2,000 employees are working around the clock and  the utility estimates 85% of customers will be restored by end of day Friday, with the remainder restored by end of day Saturday.

The utility said 440,000 customers lost power because of the storm and fewer than 135,000 customers remained without electricity as of 2 p.m. Thursday

Addressing trees blocking roadways, Curran said county workers cannot clean up fallen trees and debris tangled in wires until PSEG Long Island removes or fixes the wires first. 

On Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo directed the Department of Public to launch an investigation into Verizon, PSEG Long Island, Con Edison, Central Hudson Gas & Electric, Orange and Rockland Utilities, and New York State Electric & Gas "to understand how such a failure could have taken place."

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