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Number of current outages has been hard to pin down

A fallen tree snapped a utility pole, took

A fallen tree snapped a utility pole, took down wires and crushed a car on Grandview Street in Huntington on Aug. 5.   Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara

PSEG Long Island reported that around 13,000 customers remained without power Monday afternoon from the original 420,000 knocked out during Tropical Storm Isaias, while its website listed more than 43,000 total outages.

Such differences have been the norm since the storm lashed Long Island with wind gusts nearing 80 mph last Tuesday. 

PSEG chief operating officer Dan Eichhorn said in total, some 50,000 customers remained without power Monday. He said that number included about 37,000 who have lost power after the storm, including some related to the original outage but that took place later, and some due to intentional outages to make repairs.

The larger number also includes outages unrelated to the storm, he said.

Newsday raised the issue with PSEG Sunday, after noting the company’s online outage map contained more than double the number of outages it was reporting in real time via releases.

At that time, Eichhorn called the website figure “a dynamic number,” noting: “There’s other outages in it that aren’t storm related.”

The company’s online outage map listed 43,873 as of 7 p.m. Monday, an increase from the 42,205 it reported at 5:10 p.m.

Since the storm hit, the utility has also said inaccuracies in the map count were because contracted emergency workers were not able to immediately update repair figures from the field. Restorations, the company said, was "progressing faster than can be displayed on the outage map," PSEG said in news releases. That statement did not appear Monday. Eichhorn also said earlier that the online map could contain an unspecified number of duplicates.

PSEG said it now has a total of 6,000 line workers and tree trimmers working in the field to restore power, up from 1,600 shortly after the storm hit. The vast majority are from out of town.

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