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PSEG Long Island Says It Will Compensate Customers Who Lost Food, Medicine After Tropical Storm Isaias

MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) - After mounting pressure, PSEG Long Island has agreed to reimburse customers for power outages after Tropical Storm Isaias.

The reimbursements would cover the loss of food and medicine.

There was a heated public meeting on Monday, nearly two weeks after the tropical storm and power just being restored for some. PSEG Long Island was on the hot seat.

"There was a complete crash of the communication system," one person said.

PHOTOS: Tropical Storm Isaias Leaves Path Of Destruction

Angry ratepayers were irate over false promises and apps and emails that didn't work, CBS2's Jennifer McLogan reported.

"I ran out and saw this wire. It was sparking. It went down the street and immediately I started contacting you," said Massapequa Park homeowner Cynthia Paulus. She got no response for six days, and slept in her car.

"We're doing a deep dive after -action review to understand exactly what occurred so that we can fix the root of the problem," said PSEG Long Island President Daniel Eichhorn.

Many demanded the utility reimburse customers for food and medicine spoiled during the prolonged outage.

"Make them a priority to try to at least give them a a check so they can purchase their food," said Nassau County Legislator Denise Ford.

Eventually, PSEG Long Island agreed to pay to those with outages of more than 72 hours:

  • Residential customers, up to $250
  • Commercial customers, up to $5,000
  • Prescription medicine losses up to $300


"My mom is in her 80s and she has multiple medical issues," said Garden City Park homeowner Elaine Endrich. A neighborhood there is still without internet, phone or cable.

Residents say PSEG Long Island is not a team player and is passing the buck.

"And good luck getting through to any of the companies. Customer service is a horror, at best," said Garden City Park resident Anna Brocco.

After the multiple-hour hearing, McLogan caught up with Eichhorn.

"Is this an apology?" she asked.

"The experience we went through, we understand, was frustrating. It's something we never want to repeat again. We are taking action to improve and get better," he said.

Nassau legislators want a new utility plan in place within a month.

The withering criticism of its storm response continues. On Wednesday, Eichhorn faces a senate and assembly grilling in Albany.

Last week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Con Edison and PSEG Long Island have performed the worst when it came to restoring power following the storm.

He warned they could lose their licenses.

New York's Public Service Commission is currently investigating the companies' responses.

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