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>> NYSEG urges customers to stay far away from downed power lines. NYSEG customers should call 1.800.572.1131 to report downed power lines or hazardous situations.

>> Dry ice and bottled water will be available until 8 p.m. today at:
• Averill Park Fire Department, 35 Eastern Union Turnpike, Averill Park
• Chatham Fire Department, 10 Hoffman Street, Chatham
• Halfmoon Town Hall, 2 Halfmoon Town Plaza, Halfmoon
• Nassau Fire Department, 26 Chatham Street, Nassau
• New Lebanon Fire Department, Route 20, New Lebanon
 >> The next news release will be distributed at 4 p.m. today.




Mechanicville, NY, December 15, 2008 (11 a.m.) – More than 220 NYSEG, RG&E and contract crews from across the state and as far away as Ohio are continuing to rebuild NYSEG’s Mechanicville Division electricity delivery system that was severely damaged by the December 11-12 ice storm. The company’s Mechanicville Division includes parts of Saratoga, Washington, Rensselaer and Columbia counties.

The peak number of NYSEG customers in the Mechanicville Division without service as a result of the storm was approximately 34,000; approximately 15,000 NYSEG customers are currently without power. Because of the severity of the damage, new ice- and wind-related outages and continuing problems with transmission feeds to the NYSEG system, the company now expects some customers to be without power until noon on Thursday.

“Our people deserve a pat on the back for the tremendous progress they have made in restoring service given the extent of the damage to our system,” said Mark Leta, NYSEG’s manager - regional operations. “In our Mechanicville Division alone, we had more than 800 wires-down incidents and 135 broken poles. The devastation is unlike anything we have seen since the 1998 ice storm that left our electricity delivery system in the Plattsburgh Division in ruins.”

Leta said people should continue to watch for downed wires and stay away from them. He said even wires that appear “dead” can be deadly.

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.