A message from O&R President and CEO Bill Longhi on Hurricane Sandy
Dear Valued Customer:
Hurricane Sandy brought an unprecedented level of destruction to our area that exceeded the combined effects of Hurricane Irene and
the Halloween snowstorm. The devastated vegetation in the region resulted in electric system damage and outages to over 83% of
our 300,000 customers.
In preparation and response to this superstorm, we assembled the largest workforce in our history, including our own 1,100 employees
supplemented by over 2,500 additional workers from all across North America. Collectively, we systematically rebuilt our delivery system
beginning with the transmission lines and then worked outward from the substations through the distribution circuits and ultimately to the
local damages within your neighborhoods and streets.
Understandably, many of you were frustrated as you waited for us to reach your area and restore local and individual services. However,
it was critical that the core or backbone elements of the electric system be repaired and restored to service before the more local
damage could be addressed. Our pre-storm restoration projection of 7 to 10 days for most customers was based on industry-wide
experience of two weeks or longer for similar weather events.
Ultimately, we were able to restore service to over 85% of our affected customers in less than 7 days, recognizing that some of
you were without power for up to 11 days. Our response incorporated many of the lessons from the 2011 storms.
There was significant improvement in some areas which worked very well, such as processing customer calls. However, we need to
improve in other areas, such as providing local estimated restoration times. While this is a continuing challenge within our industry, be
assured that O&R is fully committed and focused on improving this particular area, as well as our overall storm response.
We are driven by the knowledge and appreciation of how important our service is to your quality of life and the health and well-being of
our communities. Thank you again for your understanding and support.
President and CEO
Orange & Rockland