Updates, 10:30 p.m.: Long Island Power Authority crews have reduced the number of outages in Rocky Point to a handful of outages – each reporting under five outages each – though close to 80 outages are now reported in Sound Beach.
Only a few homes without power were reported in Sound Beach earlier, though currently, the 78 homes – just east of Woodhull Landing Road – are one of five locations reported in the hamlet.
Another 26 homes are reported to be without power in Miller Place.
Original story: Close to 70 homes in the Sound Beach-Rocky Point area were without power as of 5:15 p.m., as a strong blizzard began to wallop the area.
According to the Long Island Power Authority's storm map, nearly all of the outages are located east of Hallock Landing Road in Rocky Point, just north of Magnolia Drive. Estimated restoration time is 7:30 p.m., the site notes.
Less than a handful of homes in Sound Beach are also reported to be without power.
National Grid President John Bruckner said Friday they expect about 100,000 power outages across Long Island from the storm, though outages are not expected to last more than 24 hours, he said.
LIPA put National Grid in charge of the storm response on Thursday – the first time it relinquished control in its history – after all-time lows in public faith in the utility due to its response the Hurricane Sandy in November.
Bruckner said the company has 700 high-voltage lineman and 250 tree-trimmers ready to act after the storm. In addition National Grid is upping the number of call-center personnel to provide better communication during and after the storm, Bruckner said.
National Grid has fully restocked its supplies of power lines, transformers and wires so that workers do not have to wait for shipments to come in, like they did during Superstorm Sandy.
“The resources we needed, we didn’t see until many days after Sandy. For this storm, they are on Long Island,” he said.
Bruckner also said that the company is monitoring the potential storm surge on Long Island’s North Shore, and has already sandbagged its equipment in case of flooding.
“We feel we’re in pretty good shape going into this storm,” Bruckner said.
The biggest concern for National Grid during the storm is not snow, but wind. Forecasters predict the New England nor'easter wind will range from 30 to 40 miles per hour with howling gusts hitting 60 miles per hour.
“This is not a typical storm. Usually, a storm comes in and out in an hour or two. This storm will last a couple days,” he said.
Bruckner said that National Grid will have 1,000 personnel on the ground early Saturday to assess the damage. Critical care customers including hospitals, nursing homes and sewage treatment plants will be attended to first. After that, areas with the most outages will be the focus, and lastly, the parts of the island with the least amount of outages.
Bruckner also said that National Grid has supplied generators to fuel terminals, so that gas shortages that happened during Superstorm Sandy do not repeat.
Amanda Lindner contributed to this report.