It might have been April Fool’s Day, but no one in Floral Park was laughing when the village’s West End section went into complete darkness last Monday. But, what was the cause of the village blackout that lasted for approximately five hours?
At around 9:45 p.m., a box truck slammed into a transmission and distribution pole on Plainfield Avenue and Burtis Place in South Floral Park near Belmont Park’s Gate 7 entrance. According to Nassau County Police, the driver inside the truck ran away at the scene of the accident, but later turned himself in to the authorities who processed the arrest.
When the accident occurred, one of the down poles struck another vehicle and brought down multiple spans of wire at a nearby second location.
Many Floral Park residents wandered the darkened streets with their flashlights in hand looking to see how far the power outage had spread. Some residents thought the outage was attributed to the Long Island Rail Road’s (LIRR) third track project while others thought nearby Belmont Park was to blame.
“I was just sitting at home watching TV when my lights sparked and then just shut off,” said one resident who was driving around the village looking for answers.
Nassau County and Floral Park Police both shut off a portion of Plainfield Avenue after the crash, preventing anyone from getting close to the scene because there were live wires around the area.
“The accident had to be cleared, leaving an extensive job requiring many stages of repair,” said head of external communications for PSEG Long Island, Elizabeth Flagler. “A new pole had to be set and several spans of wires had to be restrung at two locations. Once it was safe to proceed with restoration, crews worked through the night to restore the outage.”
A total of 2,262 customers were affected by the power outage and had their power restored in stages. 1,365 customers were only affected for three minutes while 1,103 customers were affected for 228 minutes, 20 customers were affected for 342 minutes and 174 customers were affected for 392 minutes.