PSEG LI to review why it didn't utilize around 1,000 National Grid workers for Isaias response
PSEG Long Island is considering new plans to prevent the problems that overwhelmed the utility during Isaias, and will be reviewing some newly uncovered decisions that lawmakers say were misguided
Over 400,000 PSEG LI customers were in the dark in the wake of Isaias. Some waited over a week to get power back. The utility has since been on the hot seat in providing answers as to what took so long and why so many customers had communication issues.
And now lawmakers have found out that PSEG also decided not to use 1,000 National Grid employees who could have helped in the recovery. PSEG did use 6,000 workers from off Long Island to help, though.
Some state lawmakers are criticizing PSEG LI for ignoring the local crews and bringing in workers who are not familiar with Long Island.
"You obviously want to get help where it's available as soon as you can get it, and overlooking crews that are right in your backyard and know the area doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense," says state Sen. Todd Kaminsky. "It goes to this frustration that you have a power company who we pay a lot of money who didn't properly manage the storm, who weren't ready and didn't take the necessary steps to get Long Islanders back as soon as possible."
PSEG LI President Dan Eichhorn says the decision not to use National Grid employees will be part of its post-storm review.
Utility expert and LIPA trustee Matthew Cordaro says those National Grid workers would have been valuable to PSEG LI's response and could have helped with damage assessment and some electrical work.
"It would always be better to have local crews with local knowledge, unless you're working on high voltage," says Cordaro.
PSEG LI admitted it didn't call on National Grid for help, saying it had enough workers on the job. It added in a statement, "While PSEG Long Island continued to accept high-voltage workers to assist in the restoration throughout the storm response, this work could not have been completed by National Grid Gas workers."