Residents in Port Jefferson have been without power for a week and it may be a little longer before full power is restored but the crews are out tackling the problem, officials say.
Mayor Margot Garant forwarded Patch information from Sen. Ken LaValle, R-Port Jefferson, that there are 40 major jobs that LIPA is working on in the area and of those, 12 are major "main line" jobs.
“That is a major line on a major road that feeds the power to smaller roads, then to neighborhoods,” said the report from LaValle. “This damage they related is as close as Route 25A in Port Jefferson and as far away as Route 347.”
LIPA will drilldown from these larger jobs to smaller ones and then to individual neighborhoods.
“Once the 40 major jobs are cleared, which LIPA says with the amount of manpower they have on this, could very well be later today, they will move to 26 smaller jobs (what they call the branch circuits) and then down to individual streets where wires are down,” LaValle said. “The good news is, once those major jobs are done and energized, some folks could very well be up and with power (fingers crossed).”
There was no specific timeframe given as to when all these jobs will be completed but Mark Gross, spokesperson for LIPA, said the utility intends to get power back to 90-percent of its customers by Wednesday and then take all of the work crews over to the areas hit with the most physical damage – including Port Jefferson.
“There are those areas that have mass devastation, those areas around St. James, those areas around Port Jeff, and those areas around Brookville, that will be longer because there’s so much damage and so many jobs,” Gross said. “What we’ll do is we’ll try to clear the deck on all those other jobs outside of those and then we’re going to take the workforce of 7,000 to 8,000 and be able to just flood those areas.”
Residents have told Patch that the areas around Shore Road in Mt. Sinai and Crystal Brook Hollow Road in Port Jefferson have seen extensive damage and downed power lines, among other neighborhoods.
“There are main power lines down on Old Post Rd and Crystal Brook Hollow Rd,” reported one reader. “The trees and debris have been cleared. Transformer separated from pole laying on someone property on Crystal Brook. We are cold!”
LaValle also said that the damage in Belle Terre is extensive.
“There is a great deal of tree damage and there are more than a dozen jobs that LIPA is working on,” he said.
“Hawthorne street in Suassa park took a big hit; we had several big old oaks come down taking out the power lines that are still hanging across the street,” said April Quiggle. “My neighbor lost a tree across California. The tree crews cleared the trees and branches from the wires but we haven't seen a utility crew yet. When we call LIPA we get the same general info everyone else is getting. Extremely frustrating.”
One reader emailed a picture of a transformer that had been hanging over Shore Road West in Mt Sinai since the storm first hit.
“Road is impassible by truck bus and as it lowers inches a day soon by car,” the reader said in an email over the weekend. “Very dangerous.”
By Monday on Shore Road West, crews were out cutting trees and replacing damaged poles.
One worker with a crew that came all the way from an area “west of Toronto” estimated having the neighborhood repowered by the next day.
“No promises,” he said.
He also said that the crews from out of town were sleeping in trailers set up by FEMA describing the tight quarters as submarine-like.
“We’re not complaining though,” he said. “Some people don’t have power and lost their homes.”
LIPA told LaValle that crews are already in the village trying to get it repowered.
“On the Port Jefferson problem alone [LIPA] has 117 crew members working the problem,” he said.
Terryville was even harder hit, according to LaValle's report.
"They have 119 main line jobs that have to be repaired," he wrote.
Mount Sinai has 46.
Correction: An earlier version of this article attributed to the report to the Mayor of Port Jefferson. This is now fixed and the correct attribution is to state Sen. Ken LaValle who posted the report on his webste.
Let Patch save you time. Get local stories like this delivered right to your inbox or smartphone everyday with our free newsletter. Simple, fast sign-up here.