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LIers evaluate PSEG performance

Work crews on scene in Shoreham clearing down

Work crews on scene in Shoreham clearing down trees as utilitiy crews work on downed tress and lines to restore power to area of during clean up from tropical storm Isaias on Aug. 6, 2020. Credit: John Roca

The recent failures of PSEG Long Island regarding widespread power outages across Long Island are another ominous indicator of ongoing suburban decline [“PSEG: Thousands still lacking power,” News, Aug. 10].

To me, the utility company has deservedly received lots of negative press and calls for investigations after its grossly negligent power restoration efforts, but PSEG cannot be held fully accountable. I say these problems are the marks of a suburb undergoing stark decline, a once vibrant postwar culture on its last legs. High taxes and living expenses drove away defense manufacturers in the 1980s and have burdened residents ever since. Continuing this model to today, I believe the island has undergone steady decay with few efforts for reform. Long Islanders have been overtaxed, overpromised and underdelivered for decades.

To me, PSEG is a symptom of the disease, merely one mismanaged energy company substituted for another. I believe state and local policymakers, as well as regional planners, must intervene to revitalize and reenergize this struggling suburb. Confronting PSEG is only the beginning.

Raymond Janis,

Commack

As with many storms before Isaias, one of the biggest causes of lost electrical power is downed trees. While PSEG Long Island has undertaken a tree-trimming plan to protect the infrastructure, it only addresses trees that directly surround their right-of-way. Many trees impact their lines without being close to them. Local municipalities should inspect curbside trees and ensure that homeowners regularly have them safety pruned. Based on this tropical storm, one can only imagine the devastation from a hurricane.

Richard Levow,

Bellmore

Once again after a major storm, I see the politicians, media and homeowners dumping on a power utility for its response to outages [“60,000 without power on LI,” News Aug. 9]. I take exception to that.

Yes, I believe PSEG Long Island communications were a major issue, but it should not shoulder all the blame. First, since PSEG took over, I have seen crews cutting back tree limbs, weatherizing utility poles and doing maintenance on power lines and equipment. I never saw the Long Island Power Authority do that.

I believe homeowners deserve blame, too. I live in Levittown, a community where hundreds of swamp maples, oak, Dutch elm and other large trees were planted more than 70 years ago. Many are old, rotted out, diseased, and I believe they should be taken down. They are the source of the next power outage. That is the homeowners’ responsibility. PSEG can’t cut back a tree more than 40 feet from its power lines, but that tree likely will hit the power line in the next big storm.

Homeowners, shoulder your share of the responsibility and cut down those decaying trees.

Kevin Keane,

Levittown

The Town of Huntington storm recovery workers deserve commendation.

When they were on my street removing a fallen tree, their work ethic, dedication and professionalism were outstanding. Too many folks complain and point fingers while these people work all day in sweltering heat and in high humidity to clear our streets so we can continue our daily lives.

There are still people who perform their jobs the old-fashioned, hard-working, right way.

Jeryl Griesing

East Northport

On July 6, well before Isaias, we reported a problem with the power line from the pole to our house [“Before the next storm comes,” Letters, Aug. 9].

We were told it would be repaired within three days. No storms occurred, and their outage map showed 99% of customers had power. It took four additional phone calls and 10 days for our connection to be repaired.

We reflected, “What if this were a hurricane?”

Jean Ulsheimer,

East Hampton

My power was restored Sunday. I would like to thank my Newsday carrier, the U.S. Postal Service and our carting service for keeping me in touch with the outside world during the six days that our power was out. Every day, they maneuvered past two huge, downed trees that blocked most of my street. I would also like to thank the electricians from Louisiana who restored the power to my neighborhood.

Peter Wanderer,

Shoreham

My wife and I live near Maplewood Avenue in Huntington Station. We watched PSEG Long Island perform excellently in the aftermath of the tropical storm, our being without power for six days notwithstanding. After the storm passed, we walked and drove through our neighborhood. Streets were blocked with branches, wires down all over, snapped branches were hanging from wires, and even a whole pine tree was leaning on wires 10 feet above the ground. Given the extent of the damage, we believe PSEG restored our power as quickly, and, more important, as safely as possible. To us, the calls for resignations and investigations are unfair to PSEG’s efforts to deal with this much damage in so short an amount of time.

Richard D. Sanford Jr.,

Huntington Station 

Phone, cable, internet also out

In “No internet, no work,” a Verizon spokesman is reported to have said that less than 1% of Fios customers had internet service affected [News, Aug. 8].

I was in the 1%.

The Fios troubleshooting app wanted me to go outside in the tropical storm and see whether the wires on my pole were down, or else it could not continue to help me. I could not get through to speak to anyone (my T-Mobile data connection worked fine). So this state-of-the-art technology couldn’t detect if it was connecting to my router?

I’m still waiting for Long Island to enter the 21st century.

Kenneth Ruppel,

Elmont

My sister and all her neighbors in Brightwaters who have Optimum have not had TV, phone service or internet since the storm began last week. They can’t reach anyone to report it and have no idea when their service will be restored. Some, although not all, have electric power, and those who do have power are grateful for that, but being so isolated is hard for them.

Conducting Zoom meetings for businesses, which already have been impacted by the pandemic, is impossible.

They want and need answers.

Marcia Wallace,

Brightwaters

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