Six days since Tropical Storm Isaias ripped through Long Island pulling down power lines and trees, many Glen Cove residents are just getting their power back. And some are still going without.
“Hopefully today [electricity will return],” Glen Cove resident Serge Shohov, who lives on Viola Drive said. “It has been ridiculous as my aunt who is on Viola Drive has had no power since the storm. She is 93-years-old.”
Having no air conditioner, internet, refrigeration, lighting or a way to cook is difficult, especially during a heat wave.
“It was just difficult as she had no power,” Shohov said. “All of her food was lost, no air conditioning, no hot water. I have been constantly calling PSEG and getting absolutely no straight answers from any of them. We have been getting different restoration times and many times when I was reporting the outage they were saying that it was the first time it was being reported.”
Roni Forster Chastain got her power back on Monday, the same day she received her bill from PSEG Long Island. She said that she also kept receiving different restoration times.
When asked what it was like to go without power for six days, she said it was “horrible” and “hot.”
“I went to a friend’s for a hot shower,” Chastain said. “Food spoiling. I had to bring in food and eat out. [It was] frustrating, they kept saying it would go on first Friday, then Saturday, then Sunday. Finally, it went on today.”
The View Grill was also impacted by the outages for much of the week. It will reopen Monday night.
“It’s just PSEG did not communicate which wasted time and money, but most of all the amount of food thrown out that could have fed so many people if they were just honest about appropriate timing,” said The View Grill’s owner, Jeanine Dimenna.
She estimated that between the loss of revenue and food that $15,000 to $20,000 would be her final cost from Tropical Storm Isaias.
“It’s very heart breaking,” Dimenna said. “We worked so hard during the Covid shut down and it was a good feeling to be able to be in control and to at least be able to do something. But this [storm] was just a sucker punch. We didn’t see this coming. The lack of communication from PSEG was very disappointing.”
Daniel Eichhorn, the president and COO of PSEG LI, addressed the issues surrounding communication at a virtual press conference on Friday, stating that their communication system had to be rebooted on Aug. 6 and that communication improved afterwards.
“We’re seeing a much better performance today when customers are interacting with us online and connecting with us and calling us as well,” Eichhorn said. “So, we understand the frustration there and I had mentioned several times that is not the experience we want to deliver, but that has not impacted our ability to restore.”
He said that PSEG LI would conduct an investigation as to why the system didn’t work in the first place to make improvements going forward.
As for covering expenses, such as food loss, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said on Monday that she is standing with officials like Senator Jim Gaughran to call on PSEG LI to refund utility bills and reimburse the cost of perishable items lost in the power outage.
“We are talking about that with Long Island Power Authority and we will come out with a statement in the future,” Eichhorn said.
And for now, Lisa Cohn, the president of the Glen Cove Chamber of Commerce, said that residents should support local businesses hurt by the power outages.
“They’re hurting,” she said.
The estimated restoration time for customers is now Wednesday night. “We’re still accessing . . . the one thing that has been really unique about this storm is the volume of new work,” Eichhorn said. “That estimate of Wednesday is really based on the information we have at this time.”