Storm Alert --- O&R: Treat All Downed Power Lines As Dangerous

As the latest nor’easter blows through the region, O&R urges the public to treat all fallen power lines as energized and dangerous.  

O&R declared a Storm Alert this morning as a result of today’s nor’easter, and mobilized its workforce for a significant, all-hands, weather event.

All available O&R personnel on all shifts have been mobilized to work in their respective storm functions.

In addition to its company crews, O&R has secured approximately 400 additional overhead line technicians to supplement its own field forces for this event, and the company is seeking more resources.

Company and contractor overhead line crews and tree removal crews are ramped up for a high-volume outage response today and beyond as necessary as are damage assessment, site safety, Customer Service and the wide array of O&R teams that support those functions. 

At his hour, there is little impact from the storm on the O&R electric and gas systems.  

The incoming storm, packing strong, gusty winds and heavy snow, is bearing down on the region and is expected to intensify later today and continue through early Thursday.

As we know from the three 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.

Weather forecasters expect snow, turning 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 could range from 6-15 inches.

For safety’s sake, don’t touch any downed wires with your hand or an object such as a stick, broom or pole. And, avoid touching anything, such as a car, object or equipment, or anyone who is in contact with a fallen power line. Also, avoid driving over a downed power line.

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.

If a fallen wire is draped over a car, do not approach the car or 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.

Call O&R immediately at 1-877-434-4100. Depending on the situation, you may also want to call your local police to divert traffic until the crew arrives.

 

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 at www.oru.com.


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