NYSEG Responding After Tropical Storm Isaias Disrupts Service to Thousands - 3:45 pm
Company announces estimated restoration times
Crews indicate damage more severe than Hurricane Sandy
BINGHAMTON, New York — August 5, 2020, 3:45 p.m. — NYSEG, a subsidiary of AVANGRID Inc., is responding after destructive winds and heavy rain associated with Tropical Storm Isaias disrupted power to thousands of customers. Currently, more than 73,000 customers out of the total 89,889 customers impacted are without power in the company’s Brewster division, which includes Dutchess, Putnam, and Westchester counties. Informal reports from crews in the field indicate that the damage as a result of this storm surpasses Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
In many areas, the electric system has suffered devastating damage. In Dutchess, Putnam and Westchester counties alone, more than 161 electric poles were destroyed, more than 1,300 wires were brought down, and many roads were made impassable due to downed trees and other hazards. Complicating efforts, dangerous and powerful winds did not end until well into the evening, limiting the work that could be completed in the field.
The company also announced the following estimated restoration milestones, which include:
• 50% of total customers impacted will be restored on Thursday
• 60-70% of total customers impacted will be restored on Friday
• 80% of total customers impacted will be restored on Saturday
• 90% of total customers impacted will be restored on Sunday
• Small pockets of customers in areas that experienced the most severe damage may not be restored until Monday
Due to the severity of the damage, crews will be working throughout the day to continue inspecting every circuit that delivers power to customers, making remaining hazards safe and making restorations along the way. However, customers may continue to see “still assessing” when checking outage information until the company is better able to provide an accurate estimated time of restoration.
In addition to keeping customers informed regarding restoration times, the company is working closely with local municipalities to clear roads of fallen trees and hazards. The company is also working to restore service to local municipal critical facilities, such as hospitals and nursing homes. The company will continue to coordinate response efforts with state and local emergency management authorities and will issue ice and bottle water locations on its social media (Facebook and Twitter) pages.
Prior to the start of the event, NYSEG worked proactively to secure more than 1,100 field resources to respond to power outages, with the majority positioned in the southeast portions of the state. Make safe crews were also supplied to local municipalities to help clear roads and respond to hazardous issues. While the company worked to secure as many mutual aid crews as possible in advance of the storm, additional resources are being added to support the effort. More than 1,200 resources are currently engaged in the effort.
Recognizing that many residents are currently home due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, for everyone’s safety, the company asks customers to observe a six-foot social distance if they must be near 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 and safely.
NYSEG will continue to provide updates throughout the event to the general public on the company’s social media channels (Facebook and Twitter). The company also offers customers the following reminders to prepare for the storm and stay safe if power outages do occur.
- 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 for NYSEG.
- Customers can use the new NYSEG 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.
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