Strong wind gusts disrupt service for thousands
Binghamton, N.Y. — January 12, 2020, 7:00 a.m. EST — NYSEG, an AVANGRID company, is responding to power outages for thousands of customers as a result of high winds in the western part of the state. While the weather event is expected to continue through mid-morning Sunday, as of 6:30 a.m. more than 12,000 customers are without power in the company’s Lancaster division, which includes Cattaraugus, Chautauqua and Erie counties. Additional outages are possible as winds continue to blow through the region. In anticipation of the forecast, the company mobilized additional line and tree crews to begin response efforts early this morning.
Current forecasts call for winds in excess of 50 mph and in isolated areas, 60 mph, to gust through 11 a.m. on Sunday. Combined with soft ground as a result of warmer than usual temperatures, the winds have the potential to bring down trees and limbs, causing damage to overhead power lines and other electrical equipment.
The first step in the restoration process is for crews to make conditions safe for the public and clear any downed wires or trees that pose an immediate threat to public safety. After that, damage assessors will coordinate resources and begin restoration efforts as quickly and safely as possible.
The company urges customers to use caution when traveling throughout the region. NYSEG’s storm readiness teams have been actively engaged, mobilizing additional field resources and equipment for response efforts. Crews will work until every customer is restored.
NYSEG will provide updates throughout the event to the general public on their website and social media channels (Facebook and Twitter). The company also reminds customers of the following safety tips to prepare for the storm and stay safe if power outages do occur.
Before a storm strikes:
- Sign up for Outage Alerts to receive updates automatically by phone, text, or e-mail as the company updates the status of the restoration process in their area. Customers can sign up for outage alerts by visiting here .
- Keep battery-operated flashlights and radios on hand, along with supplies of drinking water and non-perishable foods.
- Make sure that smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices are fully charged.
- Fill your car’s fuel tank.
Stay Away From Downed Wires:
- Stay at least 30 feet from a downed power line.
- If a downed wire comes in contact with your vehicle, stay inside and wait for help. If you must get out because of fire or other danger, jump clear of the vehicle to avoid any contact with the vehicle and the ground at the same time. Land with your feet together and hop with feet together or shuffle away; don’t run or stride.
- NYSEG customers should call 1.800.572.1131 to report downed power lines or other hazardous situations.
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.
- To report a power interruption, contact NYSEG at 1.800.572.1131.
- Keep refrigerators and freezers closed as much as possible. Most food will last 24 hours if you minimize the opening of refrigerator and freezer doors.
Power Restoration Priorities:
The company’s first priority is to respond to reports of downed power lines to keep the public safe. NYSEG customers are asked to call 1.800.572.1131 to report downed wires. Once this vital public safety work is complete, the company will:
- Assess the damage to the electricity delivery system.
- Develop a detailed restoration plan.
- Make repairs as quickly as possible.
For additional information, including storm preparation tips, storm safety information, generator safety information, restoration priorities and emergency resources, visit Outage Central at NYSEG.com and on the company’s social media pages:
- Facebook: @NYSEandG
- Twitter: @NYSEandG