Two days after a fierce storm swept through Southold, downing lines and trees and sending thousands of residents into the dark with no air conditioners in the summer heat, at least 201 remain without power this morning, according to the PSEG-Long Island outage map.
Across Suffolk County, over 3,600 remain without power, the map states.
PSEG plans to open a cooling center in Southold today where residents can cool off and pick up ice; the location will be at Town Hall, with an exact time to be determined later this morning.
Southold Town officials said residents can also go to the Human Resources center in Mattituck to get out of the heat and charge their electronics.
“We’re making progress and we hope to have everybody back by the end of today,” PSEG media rep Elizabeth Flagler said this morning. She added that PSEG will have 1,400 personnel out in the field today working until all have power restored.
“The outages we’re working on now are more difficult; there’s been more damage,” Flagler said. Immediately after a storm, she said, PSEG works on critical care facilities, such as hospitals and fire departments, and then larger area outages, where they can get “more bang for the buck.” Next, workers focus on individual outages that may be more time intensive.
For example, she said, yesterday, eight crews worked for eight hours on one outage, with only 34 customers returned to service.
Crews have been out day and night in Southold, a long line of trucks was seen still working in the area late last night.
“We appreciate everyone’s patience,” Flagler said.
The intensity of the storm that developed over the area in the pre-dawn hours of Tuesday, Aug. 4 caught forecasters and everyone else by surprise. The storm produced straight-line winds ranging from 70 to 90 mph, the National Weather Service in New York said yesterday.
“Damaging winds are often called ‘straight-line’ winds to differentiate the damage they cause from tornado damage,” according to the National Weather Service. “Most thunderstorm winds that cause damage at the ground are a result of outflow generated by a thunderstorm downdraft.”
The storm downed dozens of large trees, which in turn took down power lines throughout the area, leaving some 85,000 PSEG-LI customers without power across Long Island.
The weather service released the video below depicting reflectivity (on the left) and velocity (right) as the storm moved from west to east across Long Island. It shows wind speeds of 90 mph over eastern sections of the North Fork and 40-60 mph winds elsewhere. The NWS recommends viewing the video in full screen or theater mode. The data shown on the video was collected from 3:33 and 6:29 a.m. Tuesday.