O&R Prepares to Make Repairs, Restore Service in Weekend Storm
O&R’s is preparing to make repairs and restore electric service as needed over the coming Mother’s Day weekend as a potentially damaging storm system blows through the region.
Forecasters predict rain, possibly changing to heavy, wet snow Friday night, followed by winds gusting as high as 45-50 mph through most of the day on Saturday. High winds and heavy, wet snow can cause tree, utility pole and power line damage, leading to electric service interruptions.
For safety’s sake, don’t touch or approach any downed wire. Assume the downed wire is energized and dangerous. Do not try to move them or touch them with any object. Be mindful that downed wires can be hidden from view by tree limbs, leaves or standing water.
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 to keep everyone safe from the coronavirus. O&R is following the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines during the health emergency. 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. This video shows a crew’s social distancing in action.
This weekend’s weather looks like this: Friday afternoon through Saturday. a strong low-pressure system will move down from the Great Lakes and across the northeast. This will result in rain showers that will mix/change to snow showers from west to east late Friday into early Saturday. Less than 3 inches of wet snow accumulation is expected across mainly Orange and Sullivan counties.
As the center of this system passes through the region just after midnight into Saturday morning, there should be a brief increase in wind. Later in the day, strong west to northwest winds are expected to peak between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m., with peak gusts expected to exceed 35 mph everywhere, with the possibility of them maxing out around 45-50 mph. Temperatures also will be quite chilly Saturday, with an afternoon high between 43 and 50 degrees, averaging 20 degrees below normal for this time of year.
Behind this system Sunday, cloud cover will return, and breezy winds will remain. Temperatures will warm slightly to be 10 – 15 degrees below normal.
O&R company and contractor overhead line crews and tree removal experts have been activated for weekend duty. Damage assessment, site safety, customer service operations and the wide array of O&R teams that support those functions also are ready to respond. All personnel working on this emergency response will remain focused on maintaining safe, reliable service while protecting their families, customers and themselves.
The following video describes the typical storm repair and power restoration process:
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
For more information, visit O&R’s Storm Center at www.oru.com.
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.
- 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) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc., one of the nation’s largest investor-owned energy companies. O&R is a regulated utility that 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).
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