Violent Storms Slam NYSEG’s Southern Tier and Downstate Service Areas; 33,000 Customers Currently Without Service
Elmira Area Hardest Hit as Confirmed Tornado Leaves Path of Destruction.
Utility, Contract Crews Pouring Into Areas Where Damage Is Most Severe.
NYSEG Says Some Customers Will Be Without Service for a Few Days.
>> 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
>> Follow us on Twitter: @NYSEandG www.twitter.com/nyseandg.
>> The next news release will be distributed at 4 p.m.
Rochester, NY – Ferocious winds and at least one confirmed tornado tore off tree limbs and snapped trees across a wide swath of NYSEG’s Southern Tier and downstate service areas late yesterday afternoon and evening. As a result of unusually severe damage to NYSEG’s transmission system, the backbone of the electricity delivery system, as well as local distribution systems, approximately 33,000 of the company’s customers are currently without power.
NYSEG is continuing to bring additional utility, contract and tree crews into the hardest hit areas to rebuild damaged facilities. NYSEG is also continuing to respond to hundreds of downed wires incidents to make those situations safe, damage assessment is well under way and crews have begun to restore power in some areas.
“Based on the nature and extent of the damage we have seen so far, it is clear that some customers in the hardest hit areas will be without power for a few days,” said Mark S. Lynch, president of NYSEG and RG&E. “We certainly understand that it is inconvenient to be without power and we are committed to restoring service safely and as quickly as possible.”
The current outage counts are:
• 20,000 in NYSEG’s Elmira Division (all or parts of Chemung, Steuben, Schuyler, Tioga and Tompkins counties).
• 6,300 in NYSEG’s Brewster Division (parts of Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties).
• 4,600 in NYSEG’s Binghamton Division (all or parts of Broome, Tioga, Cortland and Chenango counties).
• 2,300 in NYSEG’s Liberty Division (parts of Sullivan, Orange, Delaware and Ulster counties).
Once NYSEG’s damage assessment is further along, estimated restoration times will be assigned to each outage. Those estimated restoration times will be available at http://www.nyseg.com/Outages/default.html or 1.800.572.1131.
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.