O&R: 40,000 Customers Restored, Transmission Repairs Progress;
Majority of Customers Affected Should be Restored in 10 Days
PEARL RIVER, NY Oct. 31, 2012 4 p.m. — Nearly 40,000 O&R electric customers whose power was knocked out by Hurricane Sandy have been returned to service today as O&R continued its massive efforts to repair its transmission lines and substations, make safe its downed wires and rebuild its electric distribution system.
More than 1,000 O&R employees and over 1,000 contractors from almost 20 states are working on rebuilding O&R’s electric system so that O&R can repair widespread, devastating damage from Hurricane Sandy and restore electric service to the remaining 194,000 customers. At the height of the hurricane’s outages, O&R had 230,000 customers without service.
O&R projects based on preliminary analysis that a majority of those customers should have their electricity back on within 10 days from the storm's end Tuesday, but complete repairs and total service restoration could take weeks.
O&R has thus far repaired 13 of its 27 damaged transmission lines, seven of its17 de-energized substations, and 20 of its 105 downed distribution circuits.
O&R continues to engage in a systematic inspection, damage assessment, reconstruction and restoration process. This effort is expected to take weeks to complete.
O&R is taking a multi-pronged approach to system restoration:
- The first priority is to restore the system’s backbone by repairing transmission circuits and substations. That work must take place before distribution, or local load, can be restored.
- At the same time, a second set of teams is being deployed onto the distribution system in a systematic and pre-determined manner that includes:
- Damage assessment on state, county and major local roads
- Reconstruction of the distribution system on state roads, followed by county roads. After that work is done, those crews will be shifted into restoring circuits feeding critical infrastructure and services. These critical facilities include: local governments whose operations provide essential services required by residents.
- Simultaneously, O&R is securing downed wires on major roads. Restoration then moves onto critical infrastructure followed by the largest block of customers out of service, smaller blocks of customers and then individual customer service outages.
O&R offers these safety tips:
- Resist the temptation to venture outdoors in the storm’s wake. There could be downed wires in the street and many may be hidden from view under debris and water or entangled in fallen trees. Supervise your children — especially during the Halloween celebration — so that they are not in the vicinity and keep pets on a leash. Assume any downed wire is live. Stay away from it and call O&R at 1-877-434-4100 to report it.
- Portable generators pose a serious hazard if used improperly. They should be used and installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions. A wrong connection could feed electricity back through the lines and endanger our repair crews. Never plug a generator into a wall unit, use it indoors or set it up outdoors near open home windows or air-handling vents.
- The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service offers guidelines for when to save and when to throw out refrigerated and frozen foods. For example, meat, poultry, fish and eggs should be refrigerated at or below 40°F and frozen food should be kept at or below 0°F. It helps to keep appliance thermometers in the refrigerator and freezer at all times.
If you experience a power outage, don’t assume that O&R automatically knows about it or that someone else will report it. To be sure the outage is reported, please call O&R toll-free at 1-877-434-4100 to let O&R know what happened. The more information you can provide, the more O&R can help you.
More details regarding these safety tips and others are available at O&R’s Storm Information Center.