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NYSEG, RG&E preparing for potential heavy winds

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Fri, Feb 22nd 2019 08:20 pm

Storm will pack high winds; power disruptions possible

NYSEG and RG&E, subsidiaries of AVANGRID, are monitoring weather forecasts in advance of a potential wind storm forecasted for New York state. High winds are expected to begin Sunday morning, lasting through the day and possibly into Monday, impacting NYSEG and RG&E service areas in Western New York.

Forecasts are showing potential winds above 70 mph in the Companies’ Lancaster (portions of Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Wyoming counties), Lockport (portions of Niagara and Orleans Counties), Rochester and Sodus (portions of Livingston, Monroe, Wayne and Cayuga counties) divisions; above 50 mph in the Canandaigua (portions of Ontario County) and Hornell (portions of Allegany, Cattaraugus, Livingston, Steuben and Wyoming counties) divisions; and above 40 mph in the Fillmore (portions of Allegany, Genesee, Livingston and Wyoming counties) division. Forecasted wind speeds in other NYSEG areas remain at or below the 30-40 mph range at present.

Customers are urged to monitor forecasts throughout the weekend and stay safe.

NYSEG’s and RG&E’s storm readiness teams have prepared crews and equipment to have additional resources in place to respond to downed power lines and potential power interruptions caused by the significant winds forecasted. In addition to crews, the companies have also secured additional contract line and tree resources that are being staged across the western portions of their service area beginning on Saturday.

NYSEG and RG&E encourage customers to sign up for outage alerts to receive updates throughout the day automatically by phone, text or email, as the company updates the status of any restoration process in the area. This information is also available online at http://www.nyseg.com/Outages/outageinformation.html or http://www.rge.com/Outages/outageinformation.html.

Power Restoration Priorities

NYSEG’s and RG&E’s first priorities are to respond to known incidents of downed power lines to make the situations safe. NYSEG customers are asked to call 1-800-572-1131 to report downed wires. RG&E customers are asked to call 1-800-743-1701. Once this vital public safety work is complete, the company will assess the damage to the electricity delivery system and develop a detailed restoration plan. Crews will make repairs as quickly as possible.

Restoring Power Following Major Storms

The companies first repair the backbone of the electricity system – transmission lines and substations – that bring electricity to the local distribution system that serves customers. They then make any necessary repairs to the distribution system that includes the poles and power lines along streets and roads, focusing first on those circuits where they can restore power to the largest number of customers. As part of this process, they take into account the needs of hospitals, nursing homes, fire and police stations, as well as any other critical infrastructure.

NYSEG and RG&E offer the following reminders:

During a Power Interruption

•Contact neighbors to see if their power is off. A loss of power may be the result of a blown fuse or a tripped circuit breaker.

To report a power interruption, contact NYSEG at 1-800-572-1131 or RG&E at 1-800-743-1701. The telephone systems let callers report the problem, help crews respond quickly and efficiently, and provide customers with power interruption updates. Anyone who has access to a working computer or mobile device during a power interruption can also report the interruption online at nyseg.com or rge.com

•Listen to a battery-powered radio for weather and power restoration updates. 

•Turn off major appliances (electric water heaters, refrigerators and freezers) and sensitive electronic equipment (TVs, VCRs, DVD players, computers and audio equipment) to prevent overloading and possible damage when power is restored. Turning off this equipment may mean unplugging it, turning off a circuit breaker or removing a fuse for the circuit that provides power to this equipment. Leave one light switch “on” to know when power has been restored.

•Don’t use a natural gas or propane range to heat your home.

•Never use outdoor grills or stoves inside.

•Keep refrigerators and freezers closed as much as possible. Most food lasts 24 hours if one minimizes the opening of refrigerator and freezer doors.

After Power Is Restored

•If a basement or home was flooded, customers should have an electrician check the home and have a plumbing and heating contractor check natural gas appliances before contacting NYSEG or RG&E to have services turned on.

•Turn on appliances and sensitive electronic equipment one at a time to avoid overloading circuits.

•Replenish emergency supplies used during the storm.

Additional storm safety information is available at nyseg.com or rge.com (click on “Safety” and then on “Storm Safety”).

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