O&R Adds More Resources to Storm Outage Restoration Effort
More contractors today are joining the hundreds of overhead line workers and associated storm recovery crews to repair damage and restore power to the remaining 5,870 of its customers who are still without power as a result of Tuesday’s destructive tropical storm.
Approximately 220,000 O&R customers’ power was knocked out by the storm’s high winds and heavy rains. In the first 100 hours of storm restoration, O&R returned electric service to 96 percent of its customers knocked out of power by Tropical Storm Isaias.
Individual service restoration times are now posted on O&R’s outage map. That more granular information will allow affected customers to better plan their daily lives as they await service restoration. O&R expects the vast majority of its customers now without electricity to be restored to power by Tuesday at 11 p.m.
O&R follows a strategic service restoration plan that prioritizes essential services (police, and fire departments, for example) and road openings. Repairs are then ranked by prioritizing repairs that return the largest number of customers in the shortest amount of time. Single customer repairs then follow.
Recognizing that COVID-19 heightens the hardship of being without power, O&R announced yesterday that it will reimburse customers for food and prescription medicine spoilage if they lost power for 48 consecutive hours or longer during the storm.
O&R has expanded its spoilage claims policy so that customers without power for 48 hours can fill out a form to request reimbursement for the cost of spoiled food, medication, or perishable commercial merchandise. The claim form is on O&R’s website at https://www.oru.com/en/services-and-outages/claim-form.
Here’s the status of restoration work in the six counties served by O&R and its New Jersey affiliate, Rockland Electric Company: Bergen, 96%; Orange, 97%; Passaic, 85%; Rockland, 98%; and Sullivan, 99%. Sussex County, N.J. electric customers were returned to service Friday.
O&R crews are being dispatched today to Upper Saddle River, Allendale, Clarkstown, Haverstraw, Harrington Park, Demarest, Oakland, Wyckoff, Montebello, Chestnut Ridge, Ramapo, Mahwah, Ramsey, Orangetown, South Nyack, Alpine, Blauvelt, Spring Valley, Wesley Hills and Northvale.
In addition, crews are making repairs in West Milford, Tuxedo, Monroe, Woodbury, Goshen and Warwick.
And crews also are assigned to Crawford, Philipsport, Wurstsboro, Port Jervis, Middletown, Montgomery, Bloomingburg and Glen Spey.
At this point of the restoration process, many of these crews are encountering extensive damage to O&R equipment with multiple poles and hundreds of feet of wire on the ground. At these labor-intensive locations, lengthy reconstruction, not rapid repair, is required.
Damage can be so extensive at some customers’ homes and businesses that power cannot be safely restored until repairs are made by the customers to their buildings’ structure or electrical equipment.
O&R also today is:
- Deploying over 180 tree removal experts to clear downed trees from damage locations to open roadways and prepare the area for electric service repair.
- Restoring power to 99 essential service locations and 4 schools.
- Aiding road opening work on 59 storm-closed roads.
Here are the latest outage numbers, with most affected communities listed below, as of 11a.m.:
For the most up-to-date outage information, please go to O&R’s Outage Map:
Clarkstown - 404
Ramapo - 231
Wesley Hills 155
Orangetown - 189
Middletown - 235
Woodbury – 222
Tuxedo Park – 178
Monroe – 110
Mamakating – 65
Lumberland – 13
Ramsey – 145
Mahwah – 134
Allendale – 213
Wyckoff – 191
West Milford – 755
Ringwood - 77
Report Your Outage
If you are still experiencing 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/reportoutage 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.
The following video describes the typical storm repair and power restoration process:
As its storm recovery work continues, O&R reminds its customers about the safety risks associated with using generators to provide emergency power to homes. 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 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.
O&R also renews its warning about staying clear of downed electric wires. Don’t go near any downed wire. Assume it is energized and dangerous. Call O&R immediately toll-free at 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.
Important Safety 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.
- 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.
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 asks members of the public to maintain appropriate social distancing when they encounter O&R employees working in the field, to provide for mutual safety.
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.
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).