About 4,000 without power on Long Island after storms

Stacey Sager Image
Thursday, August 6, 2015
Thousands still without power on Long Island after storms
Stacey Sager is in Stony Brook with the details

SETAUKET, N.Y. (WABC) -- Crews are making progress in restoring electricity on Long Island, where 3,598 Suffolk County PSEG customers remain without electricity two days after a powerful thunderstorm swept through the area.

The company said it hopes the majority of customers will be restored Thursday.

Crews from New York City, New Jersey and upstate utilities are assisting with repairs.

The progress was steady since the storm hit Tuesday on Quaker Path and Hilltop Road in Stony Brook, where residents have had to rely on generators the past two days as they wait for power to be restored.

"They told us tonight at 11, I don't believe 'em. It's not going to happen," said Stony Brook resident Robert Kent.

It's because on some of the homes, the damage may actually demand more than just PSE&G. Private electricians may be needed. The area's massive pine trees may have spared lives but they were merciless on the infrastructure in Suffolk County.

And this storm is a brutal reminder of a power system, which some residents say is trapped in the past.

"It's Middle Ages, we have power lines which are not underground," said Stony Brook resident Alex Tsvelik.

The cost of moving them below ground is way too expensive. Residents at best can just try to make sure the trees on their property are healthy enough to withstand what happened Tuesday.

"You can imagine something like that just toppling, and you don't even wanna think about something like that," said Stony Brook resident Jerry Tan.

A storm so random it decimated Robert Kent's front yard, but left his back yard untouched. So powerful, Kent could only be thankful Wednesday.

("This could have killed someone," we said to him.) "That's where I was standing, in that window, when it was blowing," said Kent.

Power lines were still dangling in Port Jefferson, 36 hours after the storm that snapped a pole on Pat Darling's street. "It's like a war zone and it literally cut like a laser, cut through all the trees," she said. "It was like a tornado, it really spun around and threw things all over the place."

Trees came down across roads and caused damage on properties. "The wind that came up and over the hill was a severe wind," said Port Jefferson Mayor Margot Garant. "So you can see throughout Long Island, down the North Shore, tree trunks the size of vehicles."

The mayor held emergency meetings to decide where to put all the debris as quickly as possible. About 24 structures were damaged in the Port Jefferson area, where the damage is estimated to be twice as bad as during Superstorm Sandy.

More than 70,000 customers lost power during Tuesday's storm that knocked down trees and power lines across a wide swath of the North Shore.

There are trees toppled over homes and trunks acting as barricades in the roadways. Thousands of trees are tangled on or resting with power lines.

The people in this area are complaining there are not enough utility crews working on getting the power back. The Brookhaven town supervisor warned residents not to try to move power lines on their own.

The storm hit around 5 Tuesday morning with winds of up to 80 miles per hour.

Since then, PSEG Long Island says it had 500 to 600 crews on the roads along with help from Con Ed crews.