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Clifton Park, NY, June 11, 2008 (11:00 a.m.) – NYSEG crews are working to repair severe damage to the company’s electricity delivery system from the severe thunderstorms and wind that tore through much of the company’s 10,000-square-mile, 25-county East Region.

NYSEG urges people to stay far away from any downed power lines.  “Even lines that appear ‘dead’ can be deadly,” said Bill Sears, NYSEG’s director - regional operations. “We are concerned about the safety of our customers; please stay away from all downed lines and report them immediately to NYSEG and emergency services.” 

NYSEG is deploying line crews from areas across the state from areas that have been spared damage to the areas of greatest damage in the East Region in order to expedite the restoration of service. However, because of the extent and widespread nature of the damage, some customers may not have service restored until sometime Friday. 

NYSEG customers should call 1.800.572.1131 to report downed wires or other hazardous conditions. NYSEG’s natural gas emergency number is 1.800.572.1121. 

Here is a wrap up of power interruptions in the hardest hit areas:

  • Brewster Division (All or parts of Dutchess, Putnam and Westchester counties)
     - 1,100 customers currently without power, mainly in Dutchess County
     - Some customers may be without power until noon Thursday. 
  • Liberty Division (All or parts of Delaware, Orange, Sullivan and Ulster counties)
     - 6,150 customers currently without power
     - Some customers may be without power until late Friday.
  • Mechanicville Division (All or parts of Columbia, Rensselaer, Saratoga, and Washington counties)
     - 850 customers currently without power.
     - Some customers may be without power until late Thursday.
  • Plattsburgh Division (All or parts of Clinton, Essex, Franklin and Hamilton counties)
     - 1,400 customers currently without power.
     - Some customers may be without power until late Friday.

In addition to staying away from downed power lines, NYSEG offers the following tips:

  • If your basement or home is in danger of flooding, contact NYSEG to turn off your electricity and/or natural gas service. Never enter a flooded basement or home until electricity and natural gas service have been turned off. 
  • 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, stereos) to prevent overloading and possible damage when power is restored. Turning off this equipment may mean that you have to unplug it, turn off the circuit breaker or remove the fuse for the circuit in your home that provides power to this equipment. Leave one light switch “on” so you’ll know when power has been restored.
  • Emergency generators can be dangerous. If you use one, carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Never run an emergency generator indoors; operate generators only outdoors in well-ventilated areas.
  • Keep your refrigerator and freezer closed as much as possible. Most food will last 24 hours if you minimize the opening of refrigerator and freezer doors.

After your power is restored:

  • If your basement or home was flooded, have an electrician check your home and have a plumbing and heating contractor check natural gas appliances before contacting NYSEG to have services turned on.
  • Turn on appliances and sensitive electronic equipment one at a time to avoid overloading your circuits.
  • Replenish emergency supplies used during the storm.