NYSEG and RG&E Responding to Widespread Outages - 11 p.m. Update
- NYSEG and RG&E urge customers to stay away from downed power lines - even lines that appear dead can be deadly.
- Emergency generators can be dangerous. Follow manufacturer’s instructions carefully when operating an emergency generator.
- Never run emergency generators indoors; operate them only outdoors in well-ventilated areas and away from windows and doors. Learn more about generator safety at nyseg.com and rge.com.
Binghamton and Rochester, NEW YORK - NYSEG and RG&E, subsidiaries of AVANGRID (NYSE:AGR), report approximately 100,000 customers are without power across the companies’ service areas as of 10 p.m. Since the high winds began midday Wednesday more than 188,000 homes and business have lost power at least once. Crews have been working since Wednesday afternoon to protect public safety and address downed lines as strong winds caused extensive damage to power lines and structures in communities.
Overnight crews will continue the post storm effort to de-energize damaged equipment that may represent a risk to public safety, particularly making wires down safe and removing dangerous fallen tree debris while also assessing damage and making repairs to maintain service to critical facilities. “Assessing” means patrollers are in the field evaluating the damage and sending important information to the local coordinators. Damage assessment is a crucial step in planning and managing an effective storm recovery. Accurate records of damage ensure that we send the right people and equipment to the right places and complete repairs safely and efficiently. The information we get from the assessment also helps us to develop estimated restoration times for posting to our website and provide to our customers.
At first light Friday, the companies will ramp up our restoration process. We will provide a global estimated restoration time Friday afternoon for those customers without power, and then provide specific times as we work our restoration plan. Due to the considerable damage, the companies continue to advise customers to plan for outages extending past the next 24 hours and in some areas may last for multiple days, particularly where the customers’ home or business has been damaged or is inaccessible.
As we develop restoration times, customers can get the latest outage counts; outage locations by county, municipality and streets/roads; and estimated restoration times (as they are available) on the companies’ websites: NYSEG Outage information or List of Electricity Outages. Estimated times for restoration may also change if continuing stormy weather delays progress or causes further outages.
NYSEG and RG&E also encourage customers to sign up for Outage Alerts to receive updates throughout the day automatically by phone, text, or e-mail as the companies updates the status of the restoration process in their area. Customers can sign up by visiting the NYSEG website at NYSEG Outage alert or at the RG&E website at Outage Alerts .
NYSEG and RG&E are also providing dry ice and bottled water at the following distribution sites. Supplies are distributed on a first come, first served basis, until they run out.
Power Restoration Priorities
Our first priority is responding to known incidents of downed power lines to make the situations safe. 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.
How We Go About 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. This is a time-proven process that ensures we safely restore service as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Customers should remember these 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.
- To report a power interruption, contact NYSEG at 800.572.1131 or RG&E at 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. 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 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, 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 will last 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 your utility 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 “Outage Central” and then on “Storm Safety”).