Scattered power failures damage Hendrickson pool pump


This story was updated on July 26 at 2:51 p.m.

Several power outages, including one at the pool complex at Arthur J. Hendrickson Park on July 18, afflicted the greater Valley Stream area last week, according to a Public Service Enterprise Group Long Island spokesman.

Jeffrey Weir, director of communications at PSEG Long Island, said that five outages were reported between July 10 and 18 — affecting 2,500 customers, on average. Two outages were lightning strikes, one was the result of a vehicular crash and the others were caused by equipment failure.

“It’s a relatively small area and small impact, but to our area and to our customers, it doesn’t matter how small the impact of an outage may be," Weir said. "If an outage causes them to be without power, it is a big deal." PSEG Long Island services more than a million customers — about 900,000 of which are residential homes.

None of the outages were related to a local project funded by a 2014 Federal Emergency Management Agency Hazard Mitigation Assistance grant, which awarded more than $739 million to the Long Island Power Authority to prevent any future storm damage and to restore power more quickly in the event of a major storm, Weir said. PSEG identified 12 streets in Valley Stream that need electrical grid adjustments, including Copiague Street, West Valley Stream Boulevard and Arlington Avenue. That work is expected to continue through August.

The July 18 outage destroyed the pump that powers the interactive pool at Hendrickson Park, village Mayor Ed Fare said. “The three phases of electric came back on separately, and the pump that works the interactive features burned up,” he said.

A replacement pump, which cost $3,000, was ordered and installed over the weekend, he added.

What to do if you lose power

Weir recommended that older adults or people with young children seek information about local cooling centers, in the event that the power fails in the summer heat.

“We have to rely on our customers to report that there are outages,” he said. So, after making sure it is safe to do so, Weir said, customers should call (800) 490-0075 to report outages — never assuming that the company is already aware.

For construction-related outages, he said, PSEG notifies customers who will be affected in advance. The company plans to debut a new notification system by the end of the year that will allow customers who are registered to receive text alerts about power failures if they are not home.

“Even if they’re at the office, they can say there was an incident, there was an accident, there was a tree that came down, or whatever,” Weir said.