Less than three days into operations, PSEG Long Island faced its first major challenge of the new year in a blizzard that blanketed Long Island with 7 inches to as much as a foot of snow.
In a press release, PSEG LI reported that, overnight on Thursday, some 822 of its approximately 1.1 million customers were without power. The estimate had been reduced to a small fraction of that number by the time the snow stopped late Friday morning.
The company’s new director of communications, Jeffrey Weir, said he thought the work force of 2,200 strong had adeptly handled what he called a "trial by snow."
"If it was fire, I wouldn't be quite as cold," he joked. "[But] we've been responding to our customers and getting them updated and back up and running as quickly and safely as possible.
“The leadership team here learned that the team that they had built and they had put in place is really good and knows what they're doing," Weir added. "We've been able to handle all the calls that have come our way."
In cases of lost power, PSEG LI asks residents to first check to see if their house is the only one in the neighborhood that is affected. If it is, check the fuse box for tripped circuit breakers or blown fuses. If the fuse box looks normal, check the wire between the house and the closest utility pole. Any downed wires should be reported as soon as possible.
Residents are advised to keep an emergency kit on hand, including a battery-powered radio, a corded telephone, flashlights and extra batteries, a first aid kit, bottled water, nonperishable food, a manual can opener, matches, candles, blankets and sleeping bags.
Residents are also advised to stay away from all downed power lines, whether on foot or in a car, and keep children away from areas with downed poles or wires. If a wire falls on a car, passengers should stay put until help arrives.
PSEG LI is regularly providing updates on outages and related concerns on its website and Twitter page. Those who want to reach the utility to report outages or downed wires should call customer service at (800) 490-0075, or log into a customer account.