NYSEG: ‘October Surprise’ Snowstorm Did Considerably More Damage Than Hurricane Irene
>> NYSEG urges customers to stay 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 other hazardous situations.
>> Emergency generators can be dangerous. Carefully read, understand and follow manufacturer’s instructions when operating an emergency generator. Never run emergency generators indoors; operate them only outdoors in well-ventilated areas and away from windows and doors.
>> NYSEG’s natural gas emergency number: 1.800.572.1121
>> The latest outage information: http://www.nyseg.com/Outages/outageinformation.html
>> Dry ice and bottled water: Customers in Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties should contact their town officials about distribution of NYSEG dry ice and bottled water.
>> Shelters and warming stations: http://www.nyseg.com/Outages/shelterlocations.html
>> Follow us on Twitter: @NYSEandG www.twitter.com/nyseandg
>> The next news release will be distributed at 7 p.m.
Rochester, NY – As NYSEG crews continue to work around the clock to restore service, the company said today that last weekend’s “October Surprise” snowstorm caused considerably more damage to the company’s electricity delivery system than did Hurricane Irene.
“While fewer poles were broken in this storm than during Hurricane Irene, the overall damage from this storm was considerably greater in terms of the number of circuits out and outage incidents,” said Mark S. Lynch, president of NYSEG and RG&E (Rochester Gas and Electric). “Our response matches the magnitude of the damage. We currently have 250 line crews, 99 tree crews and 1,000 people total working to restore power safely and as quickly as possible.”
NYSEG’s storm response team has now restored nearly 80% of the 109,000 services that were interrupted as a result of damage from the weekend storm, primarily in the company’s Brewster, Mechanicville and Liberty operating divisions.
The only remaining storm-related outages are in the Brewster Division (parts of Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties, where NYSEG serves 85,000 customers) where approximately 22,800 NYSEG customers are currently without service. Approximately 10,400 of the service interruptions are in Westchester County; approximately 8,600 are in Putnam County; and approximately 3,000 are in Dutchess County.
NYSEG continues to expect to complete 90% of its service restoration work by late tonight and the remainder of the work by late Friday.
As estimated restoration times for each outage are assigned, they are available at
http://www.nyseg.com/Outages/outageinformation.html or 1.800.572.1131.
NYSEG Statewide Storm Statistics
• 298,000 pounds of dry ice and 8,600 gallons of bottled water distributed to customers
• 4.200+ incidents of wires down
• 130+ broken poles
• 7 transmission circuits out; 6 now back in service with the final one expected back today
• 17 substations out of service; all now back in service
NYSEG offers the following storm emergency tips:
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.
• Contact NYSEG (1.800.572.1131) to report a power interruption. Our telephone system lets callers report the problem, helps our crews respond quickly and efficiently, and provides customers with power interruption updates. Because many people may be trying to reach us during a power interruption, phone lines may be busy. Anyone who has access to a working computer during a power interruption can also report the interruption online at nyseg.com.
• 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, audio equipment) to prevent overloading and possible damage when power is restored. Turning off this equipment may mean unplugging it, turning off a circuit breaker or removing a fuse for the circuit that provides power to this equipment. Leave one light switch “on” to know when power has been restored.
• Emergency generators can be dangerous. 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 outdoor grills or stoves inside.
• Keep refrigerators and freezers closed as much as possible to prevent food from spoiling – most food will last 24 hours.
After power is restored
• If a basement or home was flooded, customers should have an electrician check the 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 circuits.
• Replenish emergency supplies used during the storm.