Good evening, Senators and Members of Assembly. My name is Patrick Guidice and I represent Local 1049 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers as its Business Manager. I am accompanied by our Governmental Affairs Representative, Kasey Scheid. My Local Union represents 4,200 proud members with almost 2,000 members working each day to operate and maintain the electric transmission and distribution system. In starting my testimony today, I want to thank Senator Parker and Members of Assembly Paulin and Cusick for holding this hearing. The electric consumers we serve are our highest priority and hearings such as these will allow us to provide clarity and detail to our response and concerns with the recent storm restoration activity.
On Tuesday, August 4th, Tropical Storm Isaias tore through our community, leaving a path of destruction in its wake. The high-velocity sustained winds tore down the electric transmission and distribution network, and hundreds of thousands of our Long Island neighbors were left without electric service. I have been a utility worker since 1981 and a veteran of every major storm since Hurricane Gloria. I can attest to you, that the level of utter destruction from this event was devastating. I have been told repeatedly by my brothers and sisters working to restore service that this storm damage rivaled the damage left by Hurricane Sandy.