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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 4 p.m. today.




Mechanicville, NY, December 12, 2008 (11:30 a.m.) – NYSEG crews from Mechanicville and across the state – as well as crews from RG&E, NYSEG’s sister company, and contract crews – have begun repairing the severe damage from the ice storm that is continuing to impact the Capital Region. Approximately 32,000 NYSEG customers in the Mechanicville Division that includes parts of Saratoga, Washington, Rensselaer and Columbia counties are without power.

“As we continue our work, safety is our number one priority,” said Mark Leta, manager - regional operations. “First and foremost in that regard we urge people to stay away from downed power lines.”

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.