Questions regarding power outages and storm related outages.
What is a power outage?
A power outage occurs anytime there is a loss of electricity; momentarily or for a longer period of time. Studies show that the top four causes of power outages in our area are:
Storms (lightning, high winds, ice, snow and rain)
Trees and branches (contacting electric lines)
Accidents (cars hitting poles)
Equipment failure (from corrosion, wear and aging parts)
The protective relay equipment on our power lines works like the circuit breakers in your home and safely and automatically cuts off power.
Automatically shutting off the power means everyone who is fed electricity by that part of the network loses power. Once we locate the trouble spot, many customers can be restored to service even as repairs are being completed.
What is a momentary interruption?
Many times contact with a power line only lasts a fraction of a second and our relay system automatically restarts the flow of electricity. Today a split-second loss of power is sometimes just enough to upset sensitive digital equipment and home computers. Usually, these interruptions will not damage your sensitive equipment, however, it is a good idea to install surge suppression equipment to protect sensitive electronics.
What do I do with my food after an extended power outage?
Long Island is surrounded by water and has many wooded areas. Many of our established neighborhoods have large trees planted years – even decades – ago that now envelope the power lines. This puts our electric system at risk for storms and damage caused by falling branches and trees.
Storms can wreak havoc on our electric system. Because Long Island has so many trees growing near power lines, ice, wind, and heavy rain can make tree branches sag or fall on wires causing power outages.
Why are the power lines not underground?
Placing electric wires underground would reduce the total numbers of outages, but at a very high cost to customers. Such a massive project would take over 30 years to complete at an estimated cost of $25 billion. In addition, problems with underground cables take two to three times longer to locate and repair than overhead wires. Where practical, we do install underground cable in new housing developments.