Congressman Lee Zeldin urged Public Service Enterprise Group this week to change its reimbursement claim policy to provide reimbursement for spoiled food and medication due to the extended power outages in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Isaias.
Zeldin and members of the Long Island Congressional Delegation called for an Investigation into the extended power outages. As of Wednesday at 11 a.m., one week after the storm hit, PSEG Long Island reported 11,807 total customers without power, approximately 1,300 of which were reported during the storm period, which impacted 420,000 customers.
In a letter to David M. Daly, the president and chief operating officer of PSEG, Zeldin said that 100,000 people on Long Island remained without power 48 hours after the storm hit on August 4. “As New York State continues to recover from the outbreak of COVID-19, access to reliable electricity is vital especially during one of the hottest months of the year,” he wrote.
He cited the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, noting that a full freezer of food will hold its temperature for about 48 hours, which meant those who continued to be without power had to throw out hundreds of dollars in spoiled food, medication and other vital supplies.
“In light of these outages and the Americans’ continued recovery from the outbreak of COVID-19, other regional energy companies who service the Tri-State area, such as Con Edison, have expanded their claims policy to reimburse customers for spoiled food, medication or perishable commercial merchandise,” Zeldin wrote. “I urge you to immediately follow suit and allow Long Islanders who experienced extended power outages to file reimbursements for these products.”
PSEG Long Island said in a statement on Wednesday that the work to repair to the remaining storm-related outages was expected to be completed tonight. More than 6,500 lineworkers, tree trimmers and other field personnel are working around the clock, in 16-hour shifts, the utility said.