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PSEG Long Island urges customers to think twice if someone threatens to immediately shut off their power

On Consumer Protection Week, PSEG Long Island urges customers to understand the ways scammers impersonate utility employees to trick customers out of their money.

“While we are all looking forward to brighter days ahead, the pandemic has created lingering financial hardship for many, many people, and that is a target-rich environment for scammers,” said Rick Walden, PSEG Long Island’s vice president of Customer Services. “They like to create the impression of an urgent problem in the hopes that your panic will prevent you from seeing all the clues that they’re not who they appear to be. PSEG Long Island wants customers to know the signs, take a moment to think, and then contact us directly using the number on their bill if they’re still not sure.”

Some 4,150 scam calls were reported to PSEG Long Island in 2021, down considerably from the more than 5,900 calls customers reported to the company in 2020.

What customers should know about payment scams

  • Scammers impersonating PSEG Long Island most frequently threaten to shut off power immediately unless payment is made.
  • Many scammers use phone “spoofing” technology to make their number display on your phone as “PSEG Long Island.”
  • PSEG Long Island will never request that customers use one specific method of payment.
  • Scammers typically want their victims to transfer money via a web-based electronic payment service, a prepaid debit card, or even Bitcoin, sometimes asking people to buy a prepaid card at the nearest convenience store and then to read them the PIN over the phone.
  • PSEG Long Island does not accept web-based electronic payment services, prepaid debit cards or Bitcoin as payment.
  • Sometimes phone scammers will demand a deposit for a priority meter installation. PSEG Long Island does not require a deposit for meter installations.
  • If a customer has doubts about the legitimacy of a call or an email — especially one in which payment is requested — call the company directly at 1-800-490-0025.

In-person visits

Occasionally, scammers may go door to door impersonating PSEG Long Island employees, flashing a fake ID and/or claiming to be a utility collection representative. The impostors may wear “uniforms” or affix false company signs to their vehicles. The scammers generally ask for personal information, which real utility representatives do not do, or offer bogus discounts. Again, if customers have any doubts, they should not let the person in, and should call 1-800-490-0025 to verify.

PSEG Long Island employees must carry a company ID and present it when requested. If customers have doubts, do not let the person into the house. Call PSEG Long Island at 1-800-490-0025 and a customer service representative will gladly verify if an employee has been dispatched to the location.

Fake websites

Some scammers purchase web domains that closely resemble the actual URL of a utility and create a fraudulent replica of the legitimate website. Their plan is to dupe users who click on these fake sites via search results, or type in an inaccurate web address. Once on the spoofed site, a visitor is presented a number of bill payment options, all pointing back to an outside bill pay site.

PSEG Long Island always uses the “.com” domain. Its real website can be found at www.psegliny.com.

How actual PSEG Long Island reps handle phone calls

Customers should also know what PSEG Long Island will and won’t discuss over the phone. A genuine PSEG Long Island representative will ask to speak to the Customer of Record. If that person is available, the representative will explain why they are calling and provide the account name, address and current balance. If the person on the phone does not provide the correct information, it is likely the customer is not speaking with a PSEG Long Island representative.

If the Customer of Record is not available, the PSEG Long Island representative will not discuss the account at all and ask that a message be left for the Customer of Record to call 1-800-490-0025.

PSEG Long Island is a member of the Utilities United Against Scams (UUAS) collaborative. UUAS, a consortium of more than 145 U.S. and Canadian electric, water, and natural gas utilities and their respective trade associations, has helped to create awareness of common and new scam tactics and to cease operations of nearly 5,000 toll-free numbers used against utility customers by scammers.

For more information on various payment scams reported in the PSEG Long Island service area and around the country, visit https://www.psegliny.com/myaccount/customersupport/scamsandfraud.

Photo from PSEG

PSEG Long Island said it is prepared for the potentially strong winds and heavy precipitation forecasted for the holiday weekend, Sunday, Jan. 16 into Monday, Jan. 17.

Snow changing to rain is expected to begin later today and continue through Monday afternoon. Strong winds with the possibility of peak gusts of up to 70 miles per hour are forecasted – conditions that could break tree limbs, pull down wires and cause outages.

“PSEG Long Island is ready for the impending bad weather, and we encourage our customers to prepare as well,” said Michael Sullivan, vice president of Transmission & Distribution at PSEG Long Island. “As we watch the forecast, we have performed system and logistic checks, and have additional personnel ready to jump into storm mode, regardless of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Monday. In the event of any outages, our crews stand ready to safely restore service as quickly as conditions will allow.”

During this storm, PSEG Long Island may use an enhancement to its outage communications process to increase the accuracy of estimated times of restoration (ETRs). With this enhancement, customers contacting the Call Center early in the storm may receive an “Assessing Conditions” message rather than an ETR message. This will allow crews to assess storm impact first to provide more precise ETRs. For more information about this new process, visit https://www.psegliny.com/outages/estimatedrestorationtimes.

COVID-19-related storm processes remain in place to ensure the health and safety of employees and the public. To that end, we ask that customers remain in their homes when crews are working nearby. If customers must speak with our crews, we ask them to practice responsible “physical distancing” and remain at least 6 feet away. For more information about how PSEG Long Island continues to live up to its commitment to safety during the pandemic, please visit www.psegliny.com/covid19.

Customers are asked to note the important storm safety tips below and to visit https://www.psegliny.com/safetyandreliability/stormsafety for additional storm preparation information.

Customer Safety:

  • Downed wires should always be considered “live.” Please stay away from them, and do not drive over or stand near them. It is best to maintain a distance of at least 30 feet from a downed power line. To report a downed wire, call 911.
  • Electric current passes easily through water. If you encounter a pool of slush or standing water, stop, back up and choose another path. And remember, downed lines are not easy to see in snow.
  • Never use a generator, pressure washer, or any gasoline-powered engine inside your home, basement, or garage or less than 20 feet from any window, door, or vent. Use an extension cord that is more than 20 feet long to keep the generator at a safe distance.

Stay connected:

  • Report an outage and receive status updates by texting OUT to PSEGLI (773454). You can also report your outage through our app, our website at www.psegliny.com/outages or with your voice using the Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant app on your smartphone.
  • To report an outage or downed wire, call PSEG Long Island’s 24-hour Electric Service number at 800-490-0075, or use our web chat feature at www.psegliny.com.
  • Follow PSEG Long Island on Facebook and Twitter to report an outage and for updates before, during and after the storm.
  • Visit PSEG Long Island’s MyPower map for the latest in outage info, restoration times and crew locations across Long Island and the Rockaways at https://mypowermap. psegliny.com/

For more information, visit www.psegliny.com.

 

 

Cars try to navigate through flooding on Reynolds Street in Huntington Station. Photo from Town of Huntington

When the remnants of Hurricane Ida made her way last Wednesday to the North Shore of Long Island, residents weren’t prepared for what was coming. 

Two weeks ago, meteorologists got everyone ready for Henri. Gas stations were empty, the supermarket lines went out the door and stores in villages on the water boarded up their windows. 

But nothing happened. It was ultimately a light rain. 

So, when Ida made her way up the coast, we all thought nothing of it. Boy, we were wrong. 

There was flooding all across the North Shore, and people didn’t think to prepare the same way they were going to be for the previous storm.

Port Jefferson village was a muddy mess. Northport was practically under water. Stony Brook University had students sleeping inside the Student Activities Center because dorms became pools. 

According to the United Nations’ latest climate report published recently in The Washington Post, warming from fossil fuels is most likely behind the increase in the number of high intensity hurricanes over the last 40 years. 

Long Island has seen quite a few of those storms, including Sandy, Irene and Isaias. According to the Post, five more tropical systems are currently sweeping over the Atlantic so the hurricane season has only just begun. Will they be just as bad?

What will happen if we keep making poor choices when it comes to the environment? If burning fossil fuels is one of the biggest influencers in climate change, then what can we do to alleviate that stress? We need to collectively do better to eliminate waste and save energy. Consider an eco-friendly vehicle, energy-saving lightbulbs and using more sustainable household products.

But it isn’t just the increases in sustainable living that are important. 

Long Islanders need to ask their elected officials for help. For communities across the North Shore, we need to invest in ways to prevent damage to homes and businesses that sit by the water.

We need to ask PSEG Long Island to consider and create ways to move power lines underground, so when high winds attack we won’t lose power for days.

These are tall orders, but while the rest of us work toward doing better on a smaller level, we hope that Ida showed us all that we need to treat Mother Earth the way she should be treated — if we don’t, the flooding on Main Street will be the new normal.

PSEG Long Island continues to monitor the impending storm. Tropical Storm Henri is intensifying to a Category 1 hurricane as it continues up the coast to Long Island.  As of 8 a.m. today, the weather system is forecasted to bring heavy rains and high winds with peak gusts ranging from 30 to 35 mph in western areas and 50 to 65 mph on the east end of Long Island beginning Sunday morning. Given the potential intensity of the storm, some outages may last up to seven to 10 days. The eastern end of Long Island is expected to experience the most severe weather and impact.

PSEG Long Island is performing system checks and ensuring extra supplies are on hand, including poles and transformers preparing for potential outages.

“We continue to monitor the track of Tropical Storm Henri,” said Michael Sullivan, senior director of Transmission & Distribution at PSEG Long Island. “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.”

PSEG Long Island has personnel ready to respond safely and as quickly as possible throughout the storm. Additionally, more than 1,200 line workers, tree trimmers, surveyors and other utility personnel from both local and off-Island resources are being procured to work alongside PSEG Long Island’s highly trained line personnel.

In addition to having additional personnel and equipment at the ready, PSEG Long Island has strengthened the electric grid to better withstand extreme weather and allow for faster power restoration, including elevating a number of substations above flood level in preparation for this kind of severe weather.

PSEG Long Island’s employees have been working continuously for the past seven years to make the electric infrastructure more resilient to extreme weather. From storm hardening upgrades to ongoing enhanced tree maintenance, the company’s proactive work allows the system to better withstand extreme weather.

COVID-19-related storm processes have been adjusted to continue to keep the health and safety of employees and customers at the forefront, even during these unusual times.

As part of their physical distancing protocols, they ask that customers remain in their homes when crews are working nearby. If customers must speak with the crews, they ask that they practice responsible physical distancing and remain at least 6 feet away to ensure the health of everyone involved. For more information about how PSEG Long Island continues to live up to its commitments during the pandemic, please visit www.psegliny.com/covid19.

During this storm, if necessary, PSEG Long Island may use an enhancement to our outage communications process. With this enhancement, customers contacting the Call Center early in the storm will receive a message that personnel are assessing conditions, rather than an estimated time of restoration (ETR). This change will allow crews to assess storm impact before issuing ETRs, thereby increasing the accuracy of the ETR information being provided. For more information about this new process visit https://www.psegliny.com/outages/estimatedrestorationtimes.

Customers should prepare, be cautious and stay alert to their surroundings during and after storms. Review storm preparation tips at https://www.psegliny.com/safetyandreliability/stormsafety.

 

Stay connected:

  • Download the PSEG Long Island mobile app to report an outage and receive information on restoration times, crew locations and more.
  • To report and receive status updates via text, text OUT to PSEGLI (773454) or visit us online at www.psegliny.com/outages
  • To report an outage or downed wire call PSEG Long Island’s 24-hour Electric Service number: 800-490-0075.
  • Follow PSEG Long Island on Facebook and Twitter to report an outage and for updates before, during and after the storm
  • View PSEG Long Island’s outage information across Long Island and the Rockaways online at https://mypowermap.psegliny.com

METRO photo

In order to ensure sufficient electrical supply at a time of sustained extreme heat and humidity and the successive failures of third-party owned supply systems, PSEG Long Island is following established procedures to address resource capacity concerns. Based on current system conditions, PSEGLong Island is now urging all customers on Long Island and in the Rockaways to reduce electric use as much as possible during the peak hours of 3 and 7 p.m. today.

In addition to the typical demand challenges faced during high heat, PSEG Long Island has been working with the third-party owners of two interconnections that provide electricity to the service area and currently require repairs.

While PSEG Long Island has taken emergency measures to bring additional capacity online and will continue to implement available options in accordance with established contingency plans, today’s peak demand is at risk of exceeding the available energy supply. Reductions in customer energy use are also required to reduce demand.

PSEG Long Island urges customers to:

  • Eliminate ALL nonessential electric use.
  • Run air conditioners only if needed for health reasons.
  • Use fans instead of air conditioners when possible.
  • If air conditioning is needed, set home thermostats or air conditioner units to 78 degrees.
  • Only run nonessential home appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers and pool pumps in the morning or late evening to avoid the peak demand hours of 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Do not cool an empty house. Set your thermostat higher when you are away, or use a smart thermostat to control the temperature in your home. Customers can receive an incentive on qualifying thermostats for enrolling in PSEG Long Island’s Smart Savers Thermostat program, which can be used to control usage during peak summer days. Visit https://www.psegliny.com/smartsavers for more details.
  • Commercial customers may sign up for the Commercial System Relief program. Visit https://www.psegliny.com/contactus/businessandcommercialsavings/csrp for more details.
  • Close blinds and draperies facing the sun to keep out the sun’s heat.
  • Set your ceiling fan to spin quickly, counterclockwise to push air downward toward the floor
  • Businesses should reduce lighting use to a minimum
  • Commercial buildings should set air conditioners to maximum efficiency and raise the thermostat setting

PSEG Long Island will also ask its Major Accounts customers, the largest in the service area, to voluntarily curtail their electric consumption.

Customers participating in the Direct Load Control – Smart Savers Thermostat Program will have their temperature increased by 4 degrees on home central air conditioning units via the internet between the hours of 3 and 7 p.m. today. Approximately 31,000 PSEG Long Island customers island-wide participate in Smart Savers. Commercial customers participating in Demand Response programs will receive financial incentives for committing to reduce their electric use during peak periods. Activating these programs can save about 45 MWs of electrical demand.

Long Island and the Rockaways may also experience outages due to excessive heat and the potential loss of supply. PSEG Long Island has mobilized extra repair crews, who are working 16-hour shifts around the clock to restore outages safely and as quickly as possible. Customers who experience an outage should call 1-800-490-0075.

State, city, and county emergency management authorities, and local elected officials have been notified by PSEG Long Island.

The safety of PSEG Long Island’s customers and employees is the company’s top priority.

PSEG Long Island wants to make sure customers who rely on electric life support equipment are aware of this event so that they can make arrangements in case they do lose power. PSEG Long Island urges customers to be prepared and to stay safe during this event. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

During extreme heat conditions, PSEG Long Island encourages all customers to:

  • Seek out air-conditioned spaces (if safe) if their homes become too warm.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
  • Avoid wearing dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
  • Never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day, which is between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Visit PSEG Long Island at:  www.psegliny.com

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Photo from PSEG

On National 811 Day, Aug. 11, PSEG Long Island reminds customers it is the law to dial 811 before starting an improvement project that involves digging. Hitting a buried electric, gas, water or cable line while digging can disrupt utility service, cost money to repair, and cause severe injury or death. One free call to 811 will ensure customers “know what’s below.”

Every digging project, no matter how small, requires a call to 811 at least two and not more than 10 business days before work begins. 811 is the designated national dialing code to have underground lines located and marked out before any excavation work begins around the home or business. For all projects, even planting a flowerbed, installing a mailbox or fence, or putting in an aboveground pool, it is imperative to call 811 beforehand.

When you call 811, you are automatically connected to the 811 Call Center, which collects information about your upcoming digging project. The information is provided to utility companies, who send representatives to mark the locations of underground lines with flags, paint or both. Once lines have been properly marked, you will be notified and the digging can begin.

“A free call to 811 before digging keeps our customers safe and protects underground lines, which helps ensure excellent reliability across Long Island and the Rockaways,” said Michael Sullivan, senior director of Transmission and Distribution at PSEG Long Island. “It’s the smart thing to do, and it’s also the law. I’m pleased to say that we have had more than130,000 calls for electric markouts to 811 in our area so far this year, which is about 10% more than last year and a sign that our educational campaigns are working.”

PSEG Long Island continues to practice safe social distancing protocols. Customers should be assured that underground utility mark-out work is performed entirely outdoors and there is no need for any interaction with the technicians.

Tips for safe digging:

  • Call 811 at least two and not more than 10 business days before each job to have underground pipes, wires and equipment located and marked.
  • Before work begins, confirm that a call to 811 has been made and the mark-out was completed. By law, all digging projects require a call to 811.
  • Both property owners and contractors must maintain and respect the marks. Always hand dig within 2 feet of marked lines, or the area known as the Tolerance Zone, to find the existing facility.
  • Various colors are used when marking lines; to learn what each color represents, visit www.call811.com.

If an underground facility is struck resulting in an electric or gas emergency:

  • Leave the area immediately and keep others away.
  • Once you are at a safe location, call 911 to report the incident.
  • If electrical equipment is damaged, call PSEG Long Island’s electric service emergency line at 800-490-0075.
  • If gas piping is damaged or you smell gas when excavating, stop immediately and call National Grid’s gas emergency line at 800-490-0045.

PSEG Long Island has more than 5,000 circuit miles of underground electric distribution and transmission lines across Long Island and the Rockaways. In addition to the electric service lines, buried utilities can include communications cables and natural gas, water and sewer lines.

Photo courtesy of Cold Spring Harbor CSD

West Side School in the Cold Spring Harbor Central School District has announced that a team of 6th graders, under the guidance of Ms. Piña, were chosen as semi-finalists in the I Am EM-powered Public Service Announcement contest sponsored by PSEG.  The West Side video submissions mostly centered around the topic of energy efficiency and environmental conservation; many offering up alternatives and thoughtful slogans to make their statement to the community more aware of these issues. The student challenge contest was open to grades 4 to 8 throughout Long Island. Out of 207 videos submitted, 10 earned a “Finalist” designation, and 25 were recognized as “Semi-finalists.”  

Ms. Piña shared, I am so impressed with all of our sixth graders who worked hard on researching their own topics, thoughtfully building scripts, and creatively implementing these in video and editing. I believe that our semi-finalists from 6P landed this honor due to their originality and dedication in creating a stop-motion PSA with a thoughtful message, ‘Do What’s Right and Turn off the Light.'” Congratulations to the student team of Phoebe Talamas, Camryn Woodworth, Audrey Davidian West, and Serena Glantz!

Snow blanketed the ground as a winter storm hit the North Shore Dec. 16 into 17. Photo by Kyle Barr

*Update: This version of the story includes the number of homes who are still without power as of 4 p.m.

The Nor’easter that hit the east coast cut out power to thousands of homes on Long Island. By 4 p.m. on Thursday, the number of homes without power declined to 348. Earlier in the day, 3,444 homes were without electricity. PSEG Long Island said it had restored power to more than 98% of the homes affected by the storm.

PSEG LI expected to restore power to all homes by the end of the day.

“We expect to restore power to all remaining customers today,” PSEG LI said in a statement.

PSEG added personnel, including tree and line crews, to repair damage and restore outages. The utility had more than 1,300 line workers, tree trimmers, surveyors and other personnel on site to restore power.

“This storm brought down trees and wires throughout our service area,” John O’Connell, Vice President, Transmission & Distribution, PSEG Long Island, said in a statement. “We know that being without power for any length of time is a hardship and we thank our customers for their patience as we work through the damage and difficult conditions to restore their power [as] safely and quickly as possible.”

In an update on the storm, County Executive Steve Bellone (D) described the number of power outages as “good news,” as outages were a “big concern here because of the nature of the storm.” Bellone spoke with reporters at the Department of Public Works in Commack.

“We did not see a significant number of power outages in this storm,” Bellone added.

Bellone suggested that outages may have been lower because some of the limbs and trees that could have come down had already fallen or been removed.

Suffolk County Police Department Chief Stuart Cameron, meanwhile, thanked the Department of Public Works and the police department for working through the night.

As of 8 a.m., Chief Cameron said the county had 171 accidents since 4 p.m. the night before. Police were working on two active crashes, which is lower than they would normally have.

Chief Cameron also wanted to thank many residents of Suffolk County for heeding the advisory and staying off the roads.

Some of the ramps for the Long Island Expressway still had plenty of snow and slush on them. Chief Cameron advised drivers to consider taking the next ramp, if their exit appeared challenging from the conditions.

Chief Cameron also urged residents to give themselves plenty of time to clear their car of snow and ice before they need to leave their homes.

“My car was heavily iced,” Chief Cameron said. “It took me a long time to clean” it off.

Looking at the forecast for Friday, Bellone said the colder temperatures could create conditions for black ice. He urged people to be “careful throughout [Thursday] and into tomorrow as well.”

A look at Port Jefferson Harbor from the Village Center during Winter Storm Grayson as blizzard-force winds and more than a foot of snow pound the coast in January, 2018. File photo

As the nor’easter bears down on the mid-Atlantic states, the forecast for Long Island continues to include considerable snow, although the forecast varies by area.

The estimated snowfall ranges from 6 inches to 13 inches.

“We know the storm will be hitting us harder on the west end of Suffolk County, rather than the east end, where we’ll see lower amounts,” County Executive Steve Bellone (D) said during a weather update at the Commack Department of Public Works.

The storm will also hit harder in the north, rather than the south shore.

“This is going to be a heavy, wet snow, which is, of course, something that creates its own set of challenges,” Bellone said.

Bellone urged residents to return to their homes as early as possible tonight. The storm is expected to increase in intensity this evening through the overnight hours. During that time, snow could accumulate at the rate of one to two inches per hour.

“You should be off the roads by the latest, at 9 p.m. tonight.

While the east end will get lower snow totals, the area will have higher winds, with gusts of up to 57 miles per hour.

The county is opening its emergency operations center today and expects to have it open through tomorrow at 4 p.m..

The Department of Public Works has 200 vehicles ready, with about 19 tons of salt at their disposal to help clear the snow and ice from the roads.

Bellone urged residents to try to work from home on Thursday, if they can.

“Tomorrow is a day, if you can, to stay home,” Bellone urged.

Suffolk County Police Department Chief Stuart Cameron said this type of heavy snow can clog the chute of a snow blower.

“You should never, ever stick your hand” in the chute, Cameron cautioned, even if the device is turned off, because a blade can rotate and severely injure someone’s hand.

Cameron also advised against bringing a barbecue or generator inside the house because they release carbon monoxide, which can be dangerous to homeowners.

At this point, Bellone said there were no changes to the bus schedule. He urged residents to check for any modifications, particularly tomorrow after the snowstorm passes.

To report and receive status updates on an outage Text OUT to PSEGLI (773454) or to report an outage online visit www.psegliny.com

To register, have your account number available and text REG to PSEGLI (773454)

Downed wires should always be considered “live.” Do not approach or drive over a downed line and do not touch anything contacting the wire. To report a downed wire, call PSEG Long Island’s 24-hour Electric Service number: 1-800-490-0075

A snowstorm that took place Nov. 15, 2018 blindsided drivers on their way from work. Suffolk workers are trying to avoid that same situation. File photo by Kyle Barr

With a snowstorm the Weather Channel has already named Gail bearing down on Long Island, packing 50 mph winds and predicted snowfalls of around a foot, Suffolk County officials urged residents to avoid the Wednesday evening and Thursday morning commutes, if possible.

Suffolk County Police Department Chief Stuart Cameron said people driving in the snow during either commute could create dangerous conditions.

“People haven’t driven in snow for some time,” Cameron said Tuesday at a press conference at the Department of Public Works Yard Salt Barn in Commack. “If you can work remotely tomorrow, I would advise that.”

Similarly, Chief Cameron said the Thursday morning commute could be “much more impacted” and suggested “if you can stay home, that would be great.”

Additionally, he said temperatures close to freezing might create the kind of conditions that favors heavy, wet snow.

“If you have health conditions, it might be wise to pay someone to clear your driveway,” Chief Cameron suggested.

County Executive Steve Bellone (D) said last year was a “light” year for snow, which means that the supply of salt for clearing snow-covered roadways is “plentiful right now.”

As of early on Tuesday, Bellone said the forecast called for snow to start around 2 p.m. and should worsen through the evening.

The combination of high winds, sleet and snow increases the possibility of power outages.

In a press release, PSEG indicated that the conditions could cause tree limbs to break and pull down wires.

PSEG is bringing in mutual aid crews to work with the company’s personnel on the island.

“Our workforce is performing system checks and logistics checks to ensure the availability of critical materials, fuel and other supplies,” John O’Connell, vice president of Transmission & Distribution at PSEG LI said in a statement.

During the storm, Long Island may create an enhancement to the outage communications process. With this enhancement, customers can contact the Call Center early in the storm to receive an “Assessing Conditions” message, rather than an estimated time of restoration.

This will give crews time to assess storm impact before setting power restoration expectations.

This procedural change comes after PSEG LI encountered numerous communication problems amid Tropical Storm Isaias earlier this year, during which customers couldn’t contact the utility and PSEG provided misleading estimated times to restore power.

PSEG said residents can report outages by texting OUT to PSEGLI. People can also report outages through the app, website at www.psegliny.com/outages or with their voice using Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant app on their smartphones.

Residents who would like to report an outage or downed wire can call the electric service number, at 800-490-0075.

Bellone said county officials would monitor the power restoration process.

“Through the emergency operation center, we will be working closely with PSEG, making sure they are doing everything they can to keep power on and to restore power if it does go out,” Bellone said.

The forecast conditions may mean that plowing could take longer, as drivers operate during white out conditions, Bellone said.

“It’s slow going in these kinds of conditions,” Bellone said.

Bellone said the crews are prepared and will work in overnight hours to make sure roadways are cleared.

Recognizing all the challenges 2020 has brought, Bellone said it is “not surprising as we get towards the end of this very strange year that we’ll have another first: our first pandemic snowstorm.”