O&R Prepares for Severe Weather, Declares Storm Watch
O&R has declared a Storm Watch as a strong storm system packing high winds, heavy rains and snow is expected to hit our region tonight and continue into Saturday.
Severe storm activity has the potential to cause power line damage and electric service interruptions. O&R is ready to repair storm damage and restore service as needed. In addition to its company crews, O&R has secured 40 additional overhead line technicians and 20 vehicles to supplement its own field forces for this event.
Weather forecasters expect the storm to begin this evening with rain, heavy at times with winds 10-15 mph, gusting to 25 mph. On Friday, the wind picks up to 15-25, and gusts of 35-50 mph. Rain continues, heavy at times, with the chance of wet snow. On Saturday, scattered rain/snow showers are expected early with winds 10-15 and gusts of 45 mph.
To prepare for the severe weather, O&R electric and gas crews are securing active work sites today to prevent wind and water damage from the predicted storm.
Company and contractor overhead line crews and tree removal crews are preparing to ramp up for a high-volume outage response Friday morning and through Sunday at least as are damage assessment, site safety, customer service operations and the wide array of O&R teams that support those functions.
There are several ways O&R customers can report outages and check service restoration status:
- Go to the O&R website from any computer or web-enabled mobile device;
- Download the O&R Mobile app through the App Store or Google Play Store;
- Text "OUT" to 69678 (myORU); or
- Call Customer Assistance at 1-877-434-4100
To help its customers prepare to weather a storm, O&R offers these tips:
- For safety’s sake, don’t touch or approach any downed wire. Assume it is energized and dangerous. Call O&R immediately toll-free 1-877-434-4100. Depending on the situation, you may also want to call your local police to divert traffic until an O&R crew arrives.
- Maintain a distance of at least 50 feet from downed wires and anything they are in contact with including puddles of water and fences. Supervise your children so that they are not in the vicinity and keep pets on a leash or otherwise secure.
- If a fallen wire is draped over a car, do not approach the car and make rescue attempts. Remain a safe distance away, and try to keep the occupant of the vehicle calm. If possible, emergency personnel should handle the situation.
- Have emergency equipment within reach — portable radio, flashlights, spare batteries, first aid kit, cell phone and important medications. Keep O&R’s toll-free number 1-877-434-4100 near the phone to report power outages.
- 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.
- Remember: if the base station of your cordless phone plugs into the wall, your phone will be unusable during a power outage.
For more information, visit O&R’s Storm Center at www.oru.com/storms.