Long Islanders Unleash On Utility Isaias Response

Originally published in WSHU News on January 14, 2021.

Long Islanders testified this week at a public hearing about the impact of PSEG Long Island’s failed response to Tropical Storm Isaias last summer.

Complaints ranged from PSEG Long Island’s failure to quickly restore power to charges that the Long Island Power Authority should have provided more oversight of the utility company.

State Senator Anna Kaplan said her office helped more than 700 people get power restored.

“The failure of PSEG Long Island’s outage management system left people desperate for help and desperate for answers — neither of which PSEG Long Island was able to provide in their time of need. So many of my residents reached out to my office for help, turning my office into a de facto call center for PSEG Long Island,” Kaplan said.

Kaplan said the days-long outage forced residents to throw out food and medicine — items many couldn’t afford to replace during the economic shutdowns.

Ed Romaine is Brookhaven Town Supervisor.

“LIPA was set up, their mission was to enable a clean, reliable, affordable electric service to customers on Long Island and the Rockaways. Their job was oversight over PSEG. And I don't think that that job was done,” Romaine said.

Romaine, along with other elected officials, said their offices became de facto call centers for constituents who could not reach PSEG Long Island after the outage management system failed.

LIPA could terminate their contract with PSEG Long Island and move to a fully public utility option. That decision should come in March.