O&R on Alert as Major Storm Threatens Area

October 25, 2005

Late Monday afternoon, Orange & Rockland put all of its employees on high alert for a powerful storm that is forecast to affect the entire Northeast today.  Damaging winds and flooding rains from this latest storm are expected to topple trees and cause widespread power outages across our service area.  Additionally, heavy snows in the far western reaches of our territory in Sullivan and Pike counties, are predicted to cause major damage to trees and power lines.


As of 3:00 a.m., no customers were reported to be without power.


All customers should be prepared for the possibility of lengthy power outages from this powerful storm. Severe damage to O&R’s electric system could require days of reconstruction. In addition, restoration may be hampered by blocked access from flooded roads, downed trees and other obstacles. O&R crews and contractors are prepared to work long hours to restore service to customers as quickly and as safely as possible. O&R will put more people on the phones, more personnel in the field and provide frequent status reports to local news media to make sure customers are well informed.


In responding to storm-related damage to the electric system, O&R's number one priority is always safety — followed by rapid restoration of service.

  • Crews first clear live power lines and equipment that pose a hazard to public safety. They also give priority attention to facilities that are critical to the health and well being of the communities, like hospitals, police and fire stations, communications networks, water systems, and sewer treatment plants. Then, O&R crews turn their attention to making repairs to electrical facilities that will restore service to the largest number of customers in the shortest period of time, then the next largest number and so on until power is restored to everyone. 
  • O&R reminds customers to remain safe and stay away from downed power lines and flooded areas. Do not walk in standing water and do not venture into areas of debris, since energized and dangerous power lines may not be visible.  Keep children and pets away from downed power lines.  Do not drive over lines lying on the road, and do not drive under low hanging lines. Always assume a downed power line is live.  Do not attempt to remove tree limbs or anything else caught in power lines. Call Orange & Rockland toll free at 1-877-434-4100 if downed lines are spotted.
  • Most small gasoline powered generators purchased at home improvement stores are designed for appliances to be plugged directly into them rather than plugging the generator into the home's wiring. Be sure to use heavy-duty, outdoor-rated cords with a wire gauge that is adequate for the appliance load.
  • If you need to connect a generator directly to your home wiring, it should be done by a qualified electrician, and a switch to disconnect your home wiring from the utility system should be installed and used before connecting the generator.  Having a generator connected directly to household wiring without this switch can result in power from your generator feeding back into utility wires, creating a deadly threat to you, your neighbors and to repair crews.
  • To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, operate generators outdoors in a well-ventilated, dry area that is away from air intakes to the home and protected from direct exposure to rain or snow. A good location is an open shed, under a canopy or a carport. Never use a portable generator indoors or in attached garages.


For additional information about storm safety and electric restoration, click here.