O&R Prepares for a 'Significant Weather Event', Declares Storm Watch

O&R has declared a Storm Watch as a nor’easter, packing strong, gusty winds, snow and possibly sleet is bearing down on the region Tuesday night and is expected to continue through Wednesday.

This is a significant, all-hands, weather event, and all available O&R personnel will be mobilized to work in their respective storm functions.

As we know from the two nor’easters we’ve endured since March began, 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.

Company and contractor overhead line crews and tree removal crews are ramping up for a high-volume outage response Wednesday morning and beyond as necessary as are damage assessment, site safety and the wide array of O&R teams that support those functions. Customer Service representatives will activate its storm response operation Tuesday evening.

In addition to its company crews, O&R has secured over 200 additional overhead line technicians to supplement its own field forces for this event, and the company is seeking more resources.

Weather forecasters expect the intensifying storm to begin Tuesday night with winds 5-15 mph, gusting to 25 mph and light snow. That snow is expected to turn heavy and wet, possibly mixing with sleet through the day Wednesday. Winds on Wednesday are expected to be sustained at 15-25 mph, gusting to 35-45 mph. Snowfall ranging from 4-10 inches is possible.

To prepare for the severe weather, O&R electric and gas crews are securing active work sites Tuesday to prevent wind and water damage from the predicted storm.

There are several ways customers can report outages and check service restoration status:

  • Go to the O&R website from any computer or web-enabled mobile device;
  • Use the O&R mobile app from your iPhone, iPad or Android device;
  • Text “OUT” to 69678 (myORU); or
  • Call Customer Assistance at 1-877-434-4100

The following video describes the typical storm repair and power restoration process.

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.