Only a day after a brutal winter storm pummeled the area with cold winds, heavy snow and outages, customers on Long Island could switch their power on.
On Friday, Jan. 5, Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) Long Island announced that it had restored electricity to all of its customers. The utility is responsible for transmission and distribution to about 1.1 million people. Of those, close to 22,000 lost power as a result of the storm that was referred to as a "bomb cyclone."
The monster weather event dumped several inches of snow and knocked down power lines with hurricane force winds on Thursday, Jan. 4. By late in the afternoon that day, more than 16,000 customers on Long Island had lost power. By evening, the number had grown to 21,694.
The conditions made responding to outage calls a difficult challenge for crews. They worked through the night to restore power.
Despite the powerful storm conditions, the utility reported "no significant network outages." Nearly all outages were confined to neighborhoods and homes.
PSEG Long Island also benefitted from some extra support and storm preparation that had already been done. For the past year, a $730 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has supported contract workers who have helped utility crews perform "storm hardening work." such as clearing trees from about 9,000 miles of lines and poles.
The work helped the utility avoid more outages during the storm, and the available crews were on hand to help respond to the outages that occurred. About 276 federally funded utility contract workers joined utility crews, local contractors, plus local and out-of-state tree trimmers. Together they worked 16-hour shifts through the night. According to the utility, virtually all of its customers had their lights back on by 9 a.m. Friday morning.