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Storm Watch: Power Companies Under Pressure To Avoid Repeat Of Tropical Storm Isaias

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- This week's snowstorm could bring widespread power outages across the area.

This summer, millions of customers lost power -- some for weeks at a time -- after Hurricane Isaias hit. So how are utility companies preparing this time around?

From New Jersey to Long Island, there was frustration in the days following Isaias in August.

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Almost a third of customers in Nassau and Suffolk counties experienced downed power lines, trees blocking roads and no communication for more than a week from PSEG Long Island.

"Those issues are being worked on," Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone told reporters Tuesday. "I am expecting them to respond effectively."

PSEG is facing legal action over its failed response in August, and would not make anyone available for an interview about the impending storm Wednesday. A spokesperson said by email, it is prepared.

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Also in the hot seat are the companies Orange and Rockland and Con Edision.

New York State's utility regulator says both face potential penalties of more than $100 million for their response to Isaias. 

Con Ed said for this storm, it has 200 extra mutual aid crews ready.

"We need to prepare ahead of time to make sure you have mutual aid crews standing by and everyone is ready for when storm comes, so we can attend to those outages as soon as they occur," said Con ed spokesperson Alfonso Quiroza.


Click on the links below for information from utilities in your area.

New York:

New Jersey:


New Jersey also reviewed its utilities and found communication needed to be improved. CBS2 asked what PSE&G is preparing to do differently this time.

"It's really important we stay connected with our customers throughout any outage," spokesperson Rebecca Mazzarella said. "We ask our customers to download our mobile app."

Both PSE&G and JCP&L said extra aid was on the way, but JCP&L has been particularly under fire, as customers without power in August tried for weeks to reach someone.

When it comes to change this time around, a spokesperson said, "It really all depends on how much damage that we see and the amount of infrastructure that's hurt."

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Half of customers in Basking Ridge had been in the dark, but the mayor is hopeful.

"I've seen noticeable amounts of tree trimming crews over the last couple months," said Mayor James Baldassare.  

In Connecticut, Eversource was accused of prioritizing power restoration over clearing downed wires and trees. For Wednesday, the utility says line and tree crews are pre-positioned around the state. 


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