PSEG restored power Wednesday to a Smithtown senior housing complex where some residents had been without electricity since Tropical Storm Isaias hit Long Island eight days ago, a spokeswoman for the utility said.
The outage had affected at least 32 people in two buildings in Siena Village, residents said Wednesday. Without air conditioning in 80-degree temperatures, Mandee Khalili tried to sleep at night with a small plastic bag full of ice. Rich Gladd put a towel under his refrigerator to catch rancid juices seeping out from spoiled food. Many residents had received benefits checks on the first of the month and filled their refrigerators with food that spoiled, he said.
PSEG spokeswoman Elizabeth Flagler said power was restored 4 p.m. Wednesday. The utility’s restoration process is to “get the largest amount of outages first,” she said. “We have to prioritize the bulk of customers.”
The outage was caused by the failure of two underground cables and a problem with an underground transformer, she said.
South Carolina-based PK Management, the facility’s management company, could not be reached for comment Wednesday afternoon.
PK Management had been paying for meals, and two days ago Smithtown officials brought over Styrofoam coolers and ice, Gladd said.
Three residents have been hospitalized since the outage, Smithtown spokeswoman Nicole Garguilo said. One, who had chest pains two days ago, has a heart condition and couldn't monitor her heart rate without power, Garguilo said.
Gladd, 71, a retired haircutter, said that the outage had rendered useless electric stoves and hot water heaters. Cold water showers are “not something you look forward to.” He and his neighbors have been spending time outside talking and reading but “people are starting to get cranky.”
Khalili, a retired accountant who declined to give her age, said she is diabetic and has been storing her insulin in ice. Her arthritis makes cold showers especially unpleasant and she hasn’t been able to sleep much, she said. On nights when the heat and humidity is especially bad, she sits in her car with the air conditioning on. “You get crazy,” she said.
The Bishop Road facility has 299 units.