Downed trees and branches in Wading River. Courtesy photo: Carol Sclafani

More than 271,000 Long Island homes and businesses are still without power this morning, according to PSEG-Long Island, which continues its work to restore power to the hundreds of thousands of customers knocked out by Tropical Storm Isaias Tuesday.

The power company’s online “outage map,” depicting active outages, customers affected, repair status and estimated restoration times, shows nearly 5,000 customers in Riverhead and across the North Fork were still without power as of 6:30 this morning. The numbers were actually up from the outages reported online by PSEG-LI at 4 p.m. yesterday.

The map shows 271,352 affected customers as of 6:32 a.m. PSEG-LI said in a press release issued at 10 o’clock last night that number had shrunk to about 160,000.

“The map reflects everything that is happening, so it will continue to change as the crews work on the system. Many times as they restore power we need to take additional outages to safely restore the power,” PSEG-LI spokesperson Elizabeth Flagler said in an email last night in response to an inquiry about the fluctuations.

PSEG-LI said in a press release last night it estimates 85% of customers will be restored by end of day Friday.

More than 2,000 line workers, tree trimmers and other personnel are working around the clock, in 16-hour shifts and will continue to do so “until every customer is restored,” PSEG-LI said in the press release.

Riverhead Highway Superintendent George Woodson said this morning that the only trees and large limbs still blocking roads or travel lanes on town roads are those tangled up or resting on power lines. Highway crews have to wait for PSEG-LI crews to arrive in order to clear those conditions, he said.

There are still “a few” spots across town where trees and large limbs are down with power lines involved and the town is waiting for PSEG-LI crews to address the situation.

In last night’s press release, the company reiterated that the breakdown in customer communications during and after the storm Tuesday did not affect PSEG-LI restoration efforts.

“We have still been able to assess the full extent of the damage and dispatch crews to the impacted areas,” the company said in the press release.

“PSEG Long Island understands how critical it is to share accurate and timely information with our customers. We have overcome many of the issues with Verizon that affected our call center operations yesterday, and we are working diligently to improve all of our systems to fully resolve these issues,” PSEG-LI said.

The company urged customers to use its automated voice response system “whenever possible” by calling 1-800-490 0075.

Yesterday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced he had directed the State Department of Public Service to investigate what he called the “failed storm response” of several utilities, including PSEG-LI and Verizon.

PSEG-LI also announced the opening of four drive-through distributions of ice and water, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., or until supplies run out, at the following locations:

  • Hicksville, 175 E. Old Country Road
  • Roslyn, 250 Willis Ave. (Roslyn Heights)
  • Patchogue, 460 E Main Street
  • Brentwood, 1650, Islip Ave.

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Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.