PSEG Long Island president vows changes are coming after Tropical Storm Isaias

By WCBS Newsradio 880

UNIONDALE, N.Y. (WCBS 880) — The president of PSEG Long Island on Friday promised many changes to the system after hundreds of thousands were left in the dark for days after Tropical Storm Isaias.

PSEG Long Island President Dan Eichhorn says the company is switching back to the former outage management system because the upgraded system simply did not perform well. 

He blamed the newer operating system for creating more problems than it solved, which ultimately led to thousands of people being left in the dark without any way to communicate their troubles after the storm. 

“It takes all the input, whether a customer called us, whether they texted their outage and analyze them and identifying what calls coming from customers are all linked to this likely the same problem helps us become more efficient,” Eichhorn explains.

The PSEG-LI president says communication was a major issue in the aftermath of the storm and notes customers even had issued calling the utility.

“We upgraded to a different service that will give us more trunk lines in much more capacity. So from a standpoint of customers being able to call us by phone, we've taken a lot of steps that we feel has increased our capacity,” he said.

Some people have suggested moving the electric wires underground so that they are not put at risk to falling tress and other debris during major storms. 

Eichhorn says they’ve considered doing so, but it doesn’t seem plausible. 

“People want us to underground the entire system. We have about 12,000 miles of wire. It would take us longer to do that than most of our customers would be living in their houses,” he said. “The costs would be a little be prohibited.”

He does say, however, that if residents in a certain area fell that they would benefit from having above ground wires moved underground, there is a program where the residents could pay for the project at a reduced rate to move the wiring on their street.

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