PSEG management wasn't prepared for Isaias, task force says

A shocking statement shared in the Long Island Power Authority's nearly 100-page report revealed that PSEG Long Island officials were well aware of significant computer-system problems and were definitely "not prepared for a weather event" leading up to Tropical Storm Isaias.

The damage caused more than half a million customers to lose power, many for an extended period of time during one of the hottest weeks of the summer.

A LIPA task force assigned to investigate PSEG's response to the storm compiled the report, which blamed management for not adequately preparing for the storm and failing to test computer and telephone systems without having a manual backup plan in place.

State Sen. Todd Kaminsky said that PSEG is still failing to take Long Island ratepayers seriously more than 100 days after the storm.

"LIPA asked PSEG to bring an outside IT consultant to get their computer systems working — they haven't done that," Kaminsky said. "[LIPA] asked [PSEG] to cut layers of bureaucracy — that hasn't happened."

Former utility watchdog Gordian Raacke said this is unacceptable.

"We need a utility management that's up to the task and has systems in place to handle extreme conditions," Raacke said.

LIPA's report details over 100 recommendations to hold PSEG accountable. LIPA has two options to fix the problem: either terminate the PSEG contract, which expires in 2025, or renegotiate it.

The report suggests more resources are invested in PSEG's New Jersey headquarters and its IT systems than on Long Island.

A spokesperson for PSEG said the company is reviewing the report, recognizes that it didn't perform well during and after the storm, and will continue to improve future performance for the people of Long Island.

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