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PSEG Long Island: Power restored to nearly all after storm

Contractors for PSEG Long Island work on a

Contractors for PSEG Long Island work on a power line in East Hampton during a snowstorm on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. Credit: Gordon M. Grant

PSEG Long Island worked through the night to wrap up all major work on a storm that knocked out power to nearly 23,000 customers, all of whom had their lights back on by 9 a.m. or sooner.

PSEG’s in-house crews worked with on-island contractors and 70 out-of-state tree-trimmers to get the power on as gusty winds continued to blow. With the exception of three outages on Fire Island that will require assistance from local officials to get access, all 22,966 affected by the storm had their power restored, said spokesman Jeffrey Weir.

Continuing winds in the storm’s aftermath have led to just over new 300 outages Friday, the company reported. Out-of-state crews were released at 9 a.m.

“Our crews worked through the evening, in 16-hour shifts,” Weir said. “We were able to work through those brutal, frigid temperatures to get power restored.”

Nearly all the outages were in individual neighborhoods or homes, with “no significant network outages” on the higher-voltage transmission system, Weir said. In all, the hundreds of workers employed or contracted by PSEG responded to 403 jobs during the storm and overnight.

“This was a significant island-wide event,” Weir said, noting the winds in particular were “the highest we’ve seen for a sustained period of time.”

He cited federally funded storm hardening work that remains ongoing, and PSEG’s work in clearing trees from about 9,000 miles of wires and poles in helping keep outages in check. “It’s a testament to the work that’s been done to make the system more reliable and more resilient,” he said.

For more than a year, PSEG crews have been working with about 276 utility contract workers to complete the storm hardening, which is being funded by a $730 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Most of the FEMA-funded workers were around to work on Thursday’s restoration work. Forty of those workers have been shifted with PSEG crews to Puerto Rico to help in a New York State effort to restore power to that island after a devastating hurricane this summer.

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