NYSEG and RG&E Continue Work to Address Outages From Ongoing Wind Event
Customers Should Anticipate Multi-Day Power Interruptions
- Stay away from downed power lines -- even lines that appear dormant can be deadly
- NYSEG customers should call 1-800-572-1131 to report downed power lines or other hazardous situations
- RG&E customers should call 1-800-743-1701 to report downed power lines or other hazardous situations
ROCHESTER, NY — February 25, 2019 — 1:00 p.m. NYSEG and RG&E, subsidiaries of AVANGRID (NYSE: AGR), continue to respond to outages resulting from extreme winds that continue to sweep across New York State. These wind conditions have resulted in flying debris, trees uprooting and significant damage to NYSEG and RG&E equipment. More than 101,000 NYSEG and RG&E customers have been impacted by the wind storm. As of 1:00 p.m., more than 17,000 NYSEG and RG&E customers are without power, with the largest concentration of outages (7,300) in Erie County in NYSEG’s Lancaster Division. Available crews will be redeployed to address the larger outage numbers in western New York.
This continues to be a developing, active storm event across the Companies’ service areas. Customers are urged to stay safe and plan for outages lasting several days. Estimated restoration times will be posted on Company websites and on the Companies’ social media accounts as they become available.
The Companies have been using remote or manually controlled equipment to restore service wherever possible, but the wind storm is still an active event with some parts of the state experiencing snow fall as well. Infrastructure repair and restoration of service will occur as it is safe to do so. Crews will continue to focus on making downed equipment safe, ensuring access to critical facilities such as fire, police and hospitals, and assessment of the damage.
More than 2,500 line, tree, service and support personnel are responding to this event. In addition to company and contract resources, the Companies have obtained resources from Canada, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and New Jersey. NYSEG and RG&E offices in seven divisions (Lancaster, Lockport, Rochester Central, Hornell, Fillmore, Sodus and Canandaigua) are open. We are providing road clearing crews to County Emergency Operation Centers (EOCs) in the seven divisions to help remove downed equipment or debris that is blocking critical roads. Company personnel are staffing the Monroe County and Erie County Emergency Operations Centers round-the-clock through the event. The Companies’ Emergency Operations Center for Area Command will remain open for the duration of the event.
The Companies have mobilized damage assessors and wire guards, and dry ice and bottled water distribution teams. Dry ice vendors have been notified with initial plans for distribution centers in the Lancaster, Hornell and Rochester areas. Once posted, customers can look for locations at nyseg.com or rge.com, clicking on the outage tab, and then clicking on “Outage Resources.”
NYSEG and RG&E encourage customers to sign up for Outage Alerts to receive updates throughout the day automatically by phone, text, or email as the company updates the status of the restoration process in their area. This information is also available online at http://www.nyseg.com/Outages/outageinformation.html or http://www.rge.com/Outages/outageinformation.html.
Power Restoration Priorities
NYSEG’s and RG&E’s first priorities are to respond to known incidents of downed power lines to make the situations safe. (NYSEG customers are asked to call 1-800-572-1131 to report downed wires. RG&E customers are asked to call 1-800-743-1701.) Once this vital public safety work is complete, the company will assess the damage to the electricity delivery system and develop a detailed restoration plan. Crews will make
repairs as quickly as possible.
Restoring Power Following Major Storms
We first repair the backbone of the electricity system – transmission lines and substations – that bring electricity to the local distribution system that serves our customers. We then make any necessary repairs to the distribution system that includes the poles and power lines along streets and roads, focusing first on those circuits where we can restore power to the largest number of customers. As part of this process, we take into account the needs of hospitals, nursing homes, fire and police stations, as well as any other critical infrastructure. Our goal is to ensure that we safely restore service as
quickly and efficiently as possible.
NYSEG and RG&E offer the following reminders:
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 or RG&E at 1-800-743-1701. Our telephone systems let callers report the problem, help our crews respond quickly and efficiently, and provide customers with power interruption updates. Anyone who has access to a working computer or mobile device during a power interruption can also report the interruption online at nyseg.com or rge.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, and 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.
- 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. Most food lasts 24 hours if you minimize the opening of refrigerator and freezer doors.
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 or RG&E 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.
- Additional storm safety information is available at nyseg.com or rge.com (click on “Safety” and then on “Storm Safety”).