Our Company 
news release

October 30, 2012 – 2:30 p.m.

To Report Electricity Emergencies and Power Interruptions
NYSEG: 1.800.572.1131; RG&E: 1.800.743.1701

To Report Natural Gas Emergencies and Suspected Natural Gas Odors
NYSEG: 1.800.572.1121; RG&E: 1.800.743.1702 (If you smell natural gas, get up, get out and contact your natural gas utility from a neighbor’s phone.)

NYSEG: Customers Downstate and in the Catskill Region Should Be Prepared for a Lengthy Period Without Power

Rochester, NY – NYSEG is cautioning customers in its downstate service area (Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties) and the Catskill Region that its power restoration effort following the severe damage to electricity facilities inflicted by Hurricane Sandy will be lengthy.

“NYSEG and RG&E crews are making solid progress restoring service in the upstate region where damage was much less severe than it could have been,” said Mark S. Lynch, president of NYSEG and RG&E. “As we complete our work there, crews will be re-assigned to assist our downstate crews in making repairs.” 

“To put this storm and the current damage into perspective, the day after Irene was warm and sunny and we were able to begin our restoration work immediately. That restoration effort across the NYSEG service area took approximately eight days,” Lynch said. “Today we are still fighting inclement weather, for example we are not able to fly to inspect our transmission lines, and the damage to our facilities appears to be much worse than it was following Irene.”

Lynch said it will be at least Wednesday morning before it will be safe enough for crews to begin comprehensive damage assessment in accessible areas downstate and in the Catskills; it will take longer in inaccessible areas. Estimated global restoration times will follow damage assessment.

How We Go About Restoring Power

The safety of crews, customers and the community is paramount when it comes to restoring power. The first priority in responding to a widespread power interruption is removing hazards – such as live, fallen power lines. We then make necessary repairs to the backbone of the system: transmission lines and substations. Next, we work on our local delivery system, including the poles and power lines along streets and roads. We focus first on critical facilities such as hospitals, nursing homes, and fire and power stations. We also focus on areas where we have customers who depend on electrically operated, life-sustaining equipment. Overall it’s a time-proven process that ensures we restore service safely and as quickly as possible.

“It is critical that we follow this restoration process,” Lynch said.

Current NYSEG and RG&E Power Interruption Counts
NYSEG (113,500 total)
(Counties with 500 outages or more are listed.)
Putnam County  32,500
Westchester County 31,300
Sullivan County  23,300
Dutchess County 10.600
Ulster County  4,500
Steuben County  3,100
Delaware County 1,400
Orange County  1,200
Rensselaer County 1,000
Chemung County 800
Columbia County 700
Otsego County  700
Greene County  500

RG&E (19,100 total)
(Counties with 500 outages or more are listed.)
Monroe County  15,800
Wayne County  3,000
For more details and the latest outage numbers, visit:

http://www.nyseg.com/Outages/outageinformation.html (NYSEG)
http://www.rge.com/Outages/outageinformation.html (RG&E)

Restoration Times
As restoration times are available for each outage, they are available at:
http://ebiz1.nyseg.com/cusweb/outagenotification.aspx or 1.800.572.1131 (NYSEG)
http://ebiz1.rge.com/cusweb/outagenotification.aspx or 1.800.743.1701(RG&E)

Safety Reminders

  • Stay away from downed power lines – even lines that appear “dead” can be deadly.
  • Stay out of flooded basements because energized wiring or outlets below the water line may pose a hazard. Natural gas service in a flooded basement may also pose a danger. If a basement or home is in danger of flooding, customers should contact their utilities to turn off electricity and/or natural gas service.
  • 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, away from windows and doors, and never in a garage.