Damaging Storm Knocks Out Power to Over 150,000 O&R Customers
Tropical Storm Isaias, packing torrential rains and damaging winds, crashed through the region early this afternoon, knocking out power to more than 150,000 of O&R’s 300,000 electric customers.
The storm took down hundreds of trees, snapped dozens of utility poles and tore up tens of miles of wire stretching across O&R’s service area from Alpine to Port Jervis and the Hudson River to the Delaware. O&R reported more than 4,800 separate outage locations.
As more damage reports continued to come in late this afternoon, O&R said customers should prepare for an extended outage. Once all the outages are reported, O&R estimates that today’s storm damage will rank second only to Superstorm Sandy --- at 250,000 customers affected --- in O&R history.
O&R company and contractor overhead line crews and tree removal experts are engaged now in a high-volume response to repair storm damage and restore power as soon as possible.
Damage assessment, site safety, customer service operations and the wide array of O&R teams that support those functions will be working around the clock until power is restored to all of its customers. Those workers will be joined by over 150 additional contractor overhead line technicians O&R hired today to supplement its storm response. O&R is seeking another 750 overhead line technicians from its mutual aid and contractor partners.
O&R is assessing damage, addressing public safety issues, clearing critical roads and restoring critical infrastructure. Full restoration will begin once these tasks are completed.
The following video describes the typical storm repair and power restoration process:
Don’t go near 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.
As an added safety precaution, O&R personnel have been instructed to practice social distancing with each other and members of the public when responding to emergency calls in an attempt to keep everyone safe from the coronavirus. O&R asks members of the public as well to maintain appropriate social distancing when they encounter O&R employees working in the field, to provide for mutual safety.
Here are the customer outage numbers as of 7:00 p.m. today:
NEW YORK --- 109,382
Rockland: 62,425 customers affected.
Orange: 40,596customers affected.
Sullivan: 6,361 customers affected.
NEW JERSEY --- 47,155
Bergen: 37,263 customers affected.
Passaic: 9,892 customers affected.
Sussex: 90 customers affected.
If you experience a power outage, don’t assume that O&R automatically knows about it. You can report it and check to see when your lights will be back on through:
- At www.oru.com/outage from any computer or web-based mobile device.
- O&R mobile app from your iPhone, iPad or Android device --- download via Apple Store or Google Play.
- Text messaging by texting “OUT” to 69678 (myORU) or Call 1-877-434-4100.
To help its customers prepare to weather a storm, O&R offers these 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 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.
- 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. Keep O&R’s toll-free number 1-877-434-4100 near the phone to report power outages.
- Remember: if the base station of your cordless phone plugs into the wall, your phone will be unusable during a power outage.
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.
O&R serves the following communities in New York: Airmont, Bloomingburg, Blooming Grove, Chester Town, Chester Village, Chestnut Ridge, Clarkstown, Crawford, Deerpark, Florida, Forestburgh, Goshen Town, Goshen Village, Grand View, Greenwood Lake, Greenville, Harriman, Haverstraw Town, Haverstraw Village, Highland Falls, Highlands, Hillburn, Kaser, Kiryas Joel, Lumberland, Mamakating, Middletown, Minisink, Monroe Town, Monroe Village, Montebello, Mount Hope, New Hempstead, New Square, Nyack, Orangetown, Otisville, Palm Tree, Piermont, Pomona, Port Jervis, Ramapo, Sloatsburg, South Blooming Grove, South Nyack, Spring Valley, Stony Point, Suffern, Tuxedo Town, Tuxedo Park, Unionville, Upper Nyack, Wesley Hills, Wallkill, Warwick Town, Warwick Village, Washingtonville, Wawayanda, West Haverstraw, Woodbury, Woodbury Village, Wurtsboro.
O&R, as Rockland Electric Company, serves the following communities in New Jersey:
Allendale, Alpine, Closter, Cresskill, Demarest, Franklin Lakes, Harrington Park, Mahwah, Haworth (part), Montague, Montvale, Northvale, Norwood, Oakland, Old Tappan (part), Ramsey, Ringwood, Rivervale (part), Rockleigh, Saddle River (part), Upper Saddle River, Wantage (part), Vernon (part), West Milford (part), Wyckoff (part).