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PSEG crews begin to strengthen wires, circuits in Islip

PSEG Long Island crews transfer power lines to

PSEG Long Island crews transfer power lines to new utility poles along Montauk Highway in West Islip on Thursday, July 10, 2014. Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

PSEG Long Island on Monday is scheduled to begin work on a 5-mile stretch through the Town of Islip, part of an Island-wide initiative to strengthen electrical circuits damaged by superstorm Sandy.

The newest phase of work within the town will take about seven months to complete while crews install new and more durable poles along an electric main line circuit. The crews will also replace existing wires with more weather-resistant ones and install or replace switching equipment to help reduce the number of customers affected by an outage, according to the utility.

The Islip Town Board on Thursday approved a resolution that will allow a PSEG contractor to store equipment at the Central Islip Highway Yard for the duration of the project, Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter said.

“As we begin hurricane season, it reinforces the message that we need to prepare for any possible emergency, and by hardening our infrastructure, it helps to minimize storm damage and the negative impact it has on our residents,” Carpenter said in a statement.

Four of the planned 12 routes to receive the upgrades in Islip Town are expected to be completed in the next few weeks, said PSEG spokeswoman Elizabeth Flagler. All of the routes are in Brentwood and Central Islip.

The final 2-mile-long phase in the town is expected to begin in Holbrook in September and last two months.

“We’re working to harden the system to better withstand extreme weather,” said Flagler, who added that the work is on schedule. “We want to make sure we deliver best-in-class system reliability to our customers.”

The majority of the projects began earlier this year, Flagler said, and stretch across the Rockaways to the towns of Hempstead, Oyster Bay, Babylon, Huntington, Brookhaven, Riverhead and Southold.

Electrical work in parts of Huntington Station, Cold Spring Harbor, Southold and Floral Park was finished in December, according to PSEG.

After superstorm Sandy heavily damaged coastal areas of Long Island in October 2012, PSEG conducted an in-depth analysis of the system and pinpointed the areas in need of improvement, Flagler said.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is funding the work — dubbed the FEMA Electric Circuit Improvement Project — through its Hazard Mitigation Assistance Program, which “was established to harden electrical distribution infrastructure against future storm damage and help restore power more quickly,” according to PSEG’s website.

Tree-trimming will be undertaken in necessary locations to mitigate safety and power-outage risks. Workers will be at the locations from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday for the duration of the project, with limited evening and Sunday work, while labor will cease on major national holidays. Minor traffic delays may occur in the area and any customers to be affected by short-term, localized, intentional power outages will be notified in advance.

For more details on specific street locations, visit the FEMA projects page at


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