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With Gusty Winds, Sleet and Snow Coming, O&R Offers Safety Tips

To help its customers cope with the snow, wintry mix and gusty winds that dominate the weather forecast for today through Tuesday, O&R is providing some practical tips to help its customers better weather the storm.

Strong winds, coating ice and heavy wet snow can cause power line damage and electric service interruptions. O&R crews will be ready to repair damage and restore service as needed through the duration of the storm. 

 

For safety’s sake, don’t touch or approach any downed wire. Assume the downed wire is energized and dangerous.

 

The strongest winds with gusts of 30 mph are expected from 6 p.m. today through about 4 a.m. Monday. Today’s wintry mix is expected to remain frozen all day in Orange and Sullivan counties while mixed precipitation is due to become rain in Rockland this afternoon. The forecast calls for the wet weather to change to snow Monday through Tuesday with 6-12 inches of snow possible in Sullivan and Orange counties and 4-10 inches possible in Rockland.  In O&R’s Rockland Electric service area in New Jersey, Bergen County expects 2-4 inches of snow with as much as 9 inches of snow possible in Sussex County and12 inches due in Passaic County.

 

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 more tips:

  • 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 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.
  • Pole-top transformers --- those small grey-colored metal drums attached to the wires at the tops of most utility poles --- also should be avoided when they have been knocked to the ground.
  • Portable generators pose a serious hazard if used improperly. They should be used and installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions. A wrong connection could feed electricity back through the lines and endanger our repair crews. Never plug a generator into a wall unit, use it indoors or set it up outdoors near open home windows or air-handling vents.
  • Have emergency equipment within reach --- portable radio, flashlights, spare batteries, first aid kit, cell phone and important medications
  • Remember: if the base station of your cordless phone plugs into the wall, your phone will be unusable during a power outage. 

     

    If you experience a power outage, don’t assume that O&R automatically knows about it or that someone else will report it. 

About Orange & Rockland

Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc. (O&R), a wholly owned subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc., one of the nation’s largest investor-owned energy companies, is a regulated utility. O&R provides electric service to approximately 300,000 customers in southeastern New York State (where its franchise name is Orange & Rockland) and northern New Jersey (where it’s Rockland Electric Company) and natural gas service to approximately 130,000 customers in New York.

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