Graphic: National Hurricane Center

PSEG Long Island is warning that power outages from Tropical Storm Henri, which is currently expected to bring heavy rains and high winds to the East End of Long Island this weekend, can cause some power outages that may last “up to seven to 10 days.” 

PSEG-LI said in a press release that they are performing system checks and ensuring extra supplies are on hand for potential outages and that 1,200 utility personnel both locally and off the island are being called to work alongside PSEG staff for the storm’s response. The utility also said it has strengthened the electrical grid.

“We continue to monitor the track of Tropical Storm Henri,” Michael Sullivan, senior director of Transmission & Distribution at PSEG-LI said in a statement. “As the storm makes its way up the coast, employees are preparing for the possibility of high winds that can cause flying debris, and bring down trees and power lines. We encourage our customers to do the same at their homes and businesses.”

Riverhead Police Chief and Emergency Management Officer David Hegermiller said he’s keeping a close eye on Henri and will be issuing a weather advisory this afternoon.

The track and intensity of the storm remains uncertain but the system seems to be tracking closer to the coast as it moves north than originally forecast. It is expected to intensify to hurricane strength by Saturday, according to the National Hurricane Center. Sustained winds are currently near 70 mph.

The north shore of Long Island is expected to have a storm surge of 2-4 feet, according to the 2 p.m. advisory issued by the National Hurricane Center.

“People who live on the north shore should be prepared for flooding in low lying areas,” Hegermiller said.

PSEG and the Long Island Power Authority have come under scrutiny after the failed response to Tropical Storm Isaias last year took out the power of more than 530,000 customers and left some without power for more than a week.

According to PSEG, customers can stay connected to the company during the storm by downloading the PSEG Long Island mobile app, texting OUT to PSEGLI (773454), visiting www.psegliny.com/outages or follow PSEG Long Island’s social media.

Customers can view PSEG Long Island’s outage information online at https://mypowermap.psegliny.com and report an outage or downed wire by calling PSEG Long Island’s 24-hour Electric Service number at 800-490-0075.

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Alek Lewis is a lifelong Riverhead resident and a 2021 graduate of Stony Brook University’s School of Communication and Journalism. Previously, he served as news editor of Stony Brook’s student newspaper, The Statesman, and was a member of the campus’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Email: [email protected]