95 MPH Winds Hit Sullivan County During Tuesday Storms; O&R Sending More Crews to Repair Severe Damage , Restore Power

The National Weather Service (NWS) last night confirmed that the powerful line of thunderstorms that blasted through the region Tuesday, included a severe downburst with very destructive straight-line winds of up to 95 mph in Sullivan County.

A storm survey crew of meteorologists from the Binghamton NWS office said in a preliminary report that the straight-line 95 mph winds extended for about 16 miles from Narrowsburg to Eldred to Forestburgh in Sullivan County at about 3:30 p.m. on May 15.

 

Those 95 mph winds carved a path of destruction that flattened trees, shattered utility poles and snapped power lines, devastating the area. At this hour, 2,902 O&R customers in Sullivan are without power as a result of damage from the intense storm.  

 

As a result of that severe damage, today, O&R is dispatching a local Incident Commander to Sullivan County to provide more direct control and coordination with local officials and emergency personnel during the O&R recovery efforts. O&R also is establishing a second local equipment staging area to expedite the rapid deployment of construction materials into the field.

In addition, the majority of the 760 O&R company and contractor overhead line and tree removal crews in the field today have been assigned to Sullivan County to support the repair and restoration work O&R already has begun.

Work in that area requires massive cleanup and reconstruction. Crews have been working methodically by first clearing and opening roads, addressing downed wires and then making repairs to transmission and distribution circuits. The vast majority of customers in Sullivan County should expect power to be restored by Sunday afternoon.

The remaining field resources today will be dedicated to restoring service to 2,200 other customers elsewhere in the service area, including nearly 2,000 customers in Orange County, who also are without service.

To assist those customers who will be out of service for the longest amount of time, O&R has distributed dry ice to the following locations:

 

Forestburgh Firehouse

2539 State Route 42

Forestburgh, NY 12777

 

Mamakating Town Hall

2948 Route 209

Wurtsboro, NY 12790

 

Lumberland Town Hall

1054 Proctor Road

Glen Spey, NY 12737

 

Customers picking up dry ice should carefully follow the safe handling and disposal instructions accompanying the paper bag containing the ice. Dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide and should be kept away from children and pets and used only in well-ventilated areas.

 

About 5,000 customers are currently without power. For the latest outage numbers, please go to O&R’s Outage Map:

 

As restoration efforts continue, the company reminds customers to:

  • Put their safety and the safety of their children first at all times. Maintain a distance of at least 50 feet from downed wires and anything they are in contact with, including puddles and fences.
  • Notify the company if power is restored to their neighborhood, but not their home. All outages and safety concerns should be reported immediately. 

There are several ways to 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

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

For the most current outage numbers and locations, visit O&R’s Outage Map.

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