Service disruptions possible as strong thunderstorms expected
BINGHAMTON, New York — August 26, 2020, 5:30 p.m. — NYSEG and RG&E, subsidiaries of AVANGRID Inc., are preparing for high winds and rain associated with incoming thunderstorms expected to hit their service areas Thursday afternoon and into the weekend. As a result of the storms, customers may experience service disruptions. The storm is expected to impact most of the NYSEG and RG&E footprint, which includes the Western New York, Rochester, Southern Tier, Capital Region, Hudson Valley and Westchester regions.
Current forecasts call for thunderstorms to begin early Thursday afternoon in the western part of the state and continue moving east into the evening. The storms are expected to bring heavy rain and winds, with gusts potentially reaching upwards of 55-60 mph. An additional round of storms is expected to impact the state on Saturday. The strong winds and rain have the potential to bring down trees and limbs, causing damage to overhead power lines and other electrical equipment. The companies urge customers to monitor local forecasts and prepare for the possibility of service interruptions.
The companies’ storm readiness teams have been monitoring weather forecasts, planning, readying crews and equipment, mobilizing employees for storm duty and have additional contract tree and line crews ready to help restore service should outages occur.
Recognizing that many residents are currently home due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, for everyone’s safety, the companies asks customers to observe a six-foot social distance if they must be near our workers and always remain outside the work zone. Allowing crews to remain uninterrupted and focused on their work enables workers to determine damage and make repairs more quickly.
NYSEG and RG&E will provide updates throughout the event to the general public on their website and social media channels (Facebook and Twitter). Customers should also sign up for email alerts and download the NYSEG or RG&E mobile app to get the most up-to-date information.
The companies also offer customers the following reminders to prepare for the storm and stay safe if power outages do occur.
Before a storm strikes:
- You can use our new mobile app to report and check the status of outages. To download the application, customers should search “AVANGRID” in the Apple or Android app stores and select “NYSEG.” The application is free to download.
- Sign up for Outage Alerts to receive updates automatically by phone, text, or email as the company updates the status of the restoration process in their area. Customers can sign up for outage alerts by visiting here for NYSEG.
- 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 companies’ first priorities are 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
Learn about the Iberdrola Group’s global pandemic response at its COVID-19 Hub.
- Michael Jamison