Field crews are assessing damage, mobilizing to assist; utility is working to restore service as quickly and safely as possible
New York State Electric & Gas (NYSEG) is responding after a mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain impacted the region, causing power outages overnight into Thursday, Feb. 23. As of noon, approximately 14,800 customers in the Lancaster division, which includes Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Wyoming counties, were without power. NYSEG crews are completing damage assessment, and the company encourages customers to visit www.NYSEG.com for outage and restoration updates.
NYSEG also reminds customers to take measures to stay safe as the risk of fire, carbon monoxide poisoning, and other hazards can increase during frigid weather. It offered these tips:
√ Home generators: Any generator that plugs into a home’s electrical system must be installed by a certified electrician. Always follow the generator safety guidelines, such as those listed in this publication, when operating a generator.
√ Appliances: Never use a stove or oven to stay warm. Only space heaters intended for indoor use should be operated indoors or in enclosed spaces, in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
√ Plumbing: Water pipes that are exposed to cold temperatures may freeze and burst. Don’t ignore drips or odd noises from your heating system. Wrap exposed pipes in the basement with pipe insulation to help them retain heat and avoid freezing.
√ Vents and meters: Customers should keep exhaust vents, gas meters and regulators clear of snow and ice as they clean up after winter storms. Snow, ice and other debris can block exhaust vents for furnaces, water heaters and similar appliances, potentially causing toxic fumes and poisonous carbon monoxide to build up indoors.
NYSEG will provide updates throughout the event to the general public on its social media channels (Facebook and Twitter). The company also offers customers the following reminders to stay safe if power outages do occur.
√ Customers can sign up for “Outage Alerts” to receive updates automatically by phone, text or email as the company updates the status of the restoration process in their area. Customers can sign up for “Outage Alerts” by visiting nyseg.com/alerts.
√ Customers can use the free NYSEG mobile app to report and check the status of outages. To download the application, customers should search AVANGRID in the Apple or Android app stores and select “NYSEG.” The application is free to download.
Stay Away From Downed Wires
√ Stay at least 30 feet from a downed power line.
√ If a downed wire comes in contact with your vehicle, stay inside and wait for help. If you must get out because of fire or other danger, jump clear of the vehicle to avoid any contact with the vehicle and the ground at the same time. Land with your feet together and hop with feet together or shuffle away; don’t run or stride.
√ NYSEG customers should call 800-572-1131 to report downed power lines or other hazardous situations.
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.
√ Keep refrigerators and freezers closed as much as possible. Most food will last 24 hours if you minimize the opening of refrigerator and freezer doors.
Power Restoration Priorities
The company’s first priority is to respond to reports of downed power lines to keep the public safe. NYSEG customers are asked to call 800-572-1131 to report downed wires. Once this vital public safety work is complete, the company will:
√ Assess the damage to the electricity delivery system.
√ Develop a detailed restoration plan.
√ Make repairs as quickly as possible.
For additional information, including storm preparation tips, storm safety information, generator safety information, restoration priorities and emergency resources, visit “Outage Central” at nyseg.com and on the company’s social media pages: