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>> NYSEG urges customers to stay far away from downed power lines. Even lines that appear dead can be deadly. NYSEG customers should call 1.800.572.1131 to report downed power lines or hazardous situations.

>> The next news release will be distributed at 11:30 a.m. today.




Mechanicville, NY, December 12, 2008 (7:30 a.m.) – What turned out to be largely an ice storm that socked a wide swath of the state from the Southern Tier through the Capital Region has caused considerable damage to NYSEG’s electricity delivery system, leaving approximately 31,000 customers in the company’s Mechanicville Division without power. NYSEG’s Mechanicville Division includes parts of Saratoga, Washington, Rensselaer and Columbia counties.

While NYSEG crews from Mechanicville and elsewhere in the state that were on standby before the storm have begun making repairs, the company is continuing to assess damage.

“A thorough assessment of damage is essential to being able to put things back together and get power restored to our customers as quickly and efficiently as possible,” said Mark Leta, NYSEG’s manager - regional operations.

With ice and winter storm warnings in effect until this afternoon, NYSEG cautions that additional ice accumulation and wind from the storm could cause more outages.

“We appreciate our customers’ patience and understanding as we go about our work,” Leta said.

Here are some tips for weathering the storm:
During a power interruption

  • Contact neighbors to see if their power is off. You may have simply blown a fuse or tripped a circuit breaker.
  • Contact NYSEG (1.800.572.1131) to report a power interruption. Our telephone system lets you report the problem, helps our crews respond quickly and efficiently, and provides you with power interruption updates. You can call as often as you like for updates. Because many people may be trying to reach us during a power interruption, phone lines may be busy. If you have access to a working computer during a power interruption, you can also report the interruption online here.
  • 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.
  • Don’t use a natural gas or propane range to heat your home.
  • Never use a grill or stove intended for use outdoors in your home.
  • 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.