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NYSEG, RG&E continue work to address outages from ongoing wind event

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Mon, Feb 25th 2019 01:45 pm

Customers should anticipate multiday power interruptions  

NYSEG and RG&E, subsidiaries of AVANGRID, continue to respond to outages resulting from extreme winds that continue to sweep across New York state. These wind conditions have resulted in flying debris, trees uprooting and significant damage to NYSEG and RG&E equipment. More than 101,000 NYSEG and RG&E customers have been impacted by the wind storm. As of 1 p.m., more than 17,000 NYSEG and RG&E customers are without power, with the largest concentration of outages (7,300) in Erie County in NYSEG’s Lancaster division.

Available crews will be redeployed to address the larger outage numbers in Western New York.

This continues to be a developing, active storm event across the companies’ service areas. Customers are urged to stay safe and plan for outages lasting several days. Estimated restoration times will be posted on company websites and on the companies’ social media accounts as they become available.

The companies have been using remote or manually controlled equipment to restore service wherever possible, but the wind storm is still an active event with some parts of the state experiencing snow fall, as well. Infrastructure repair and restoration of service will occur as it is safe to do so. Crews will continue to focus on making downed equipment safe; ensuring access to critical facilities such as fire, police and hospitals; and assessment of the damage.

More than 2,500 line, tree and service and support personnel are responding to this event. In addition to company and contract resources, the companies have obtained resources from Canada, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and New Jersey. NYSEG and RG&E offices in seven divisions (Lancaster, Lockport, Rochester Central, Hornell, Fillmore, Sodus and Canandaigua) are open. They are providing road-clearing crews to county emergency operation centers in the seven divisions to help remove downed equipment or debris that is blocking critical roads. Company personnel are staffing the Monroe County and Erie County emergency operations centers round-the-clock through the event. The companies’ emergency operations center for area command will remain open for the duration of the event.

The companies have mobilized damage assessors and wire guards, and dry ice and bottled water distribution teams. Dry ice vendors have been notified with initial plans for distribution centers in the Lancaster, Hornell and Rochester areas. Once posted, customers can look for locations at nyseg.com or rge.com, clicking on the outage page, and then clicking on “Outage Resources.”

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 the restoration process in their area. This information is also available online at http://www.nyseg.com/Outages/outageinformation.html or http://www.rge.com/Outages/outageinformation.html. 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. 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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