Long Island residents take utilities to task after storm response

The lights are finally back on for West Hempstead veteran Ed Campis after Tropical Storm Isaias left a path of destruction in his neighborhood on Tuesday.

However, he tells Fox 5, relief should have come much sooner. 

“Not even Sandy did this much damage,” Campis says.

Others, like Jennifer Weiss, who lives in Melville, are still playing the waiting game five days later.

“We have no fridge, no air conditioning, no lights. My kids actually moved into my mom's house. We don’t really see them,” she explains.

Many people say their calls to PSEG Long Island went unanswered earlier this week after the utility company became overwhelmed with outage reports. 

“We kept getting knocked out of automated call system and when we finally got through, my wife was thrown off four times,” Campis adds.

For that reason, state lawmakers are bringing their frustrations to Albany.

Utility companies including Con Edison, Central Hudson Gas and Electric and PSEG will all be asked to testify at joint legislative hearings beginning next Monday.

“These hearings are a great vehicle to find out what went wrong, and what we can do so we don’t keep reliving this nightmare over and over,” State Senator Todd Kaminsky says.

PSEG says more than 5,600 line workers, tree trimmers and other utility personnel have been working around the clock to restore power and clean up thousands of downed trees.

Officials say they’re hoping for all service to be restored by Monday.

“We did a very good job preparing for it. Our communications was not up to our expectations. We know that created a lot of angst,” PSEG Long Island President, Daniel Eichhorn admits.

State Attorney General Letitia James is also launching an investigation into the utility company’s storm response.

PSE&G confirmed with us that it received a letter from her office, and plans to fully cooperate.

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