O&R Crews Ready To Make Repairs As Destructive Winds Strike
Orange & Rockland (O&R) is mobilized and ready to repair storm damage and restore electric service in response to a strong arctic cold front that’s pushing through the region tonight. The forecast calls for:
- Prevailing winds of 15 - 25 mph with gusts as high as 50 to 60 mph from roughly 5 pm today through midnight
- The strongest wind gust potential will begin after midnight through 11 a.m. Tuesday; prevailing winds are expected to increase to 20-35 mph, gusting to as high as 50 - 60 mph
- From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday the prevailing winds are expected to diminish to 15 - 25 with gusts as high as 45 - 55 mph
Weekend rains and snow melt have saturated the ground, setting the stage for the predicted high winds to damage trees, utility poles, and overhead electric wires, causing power outages.
Due to this forecast, O&R has tripled the size of its emergency response forces by obtaining 200 additional overhead line contractor technicians who will join company crews and tree removal experts. They will be assisted by damage assessment, site safety, customer service operations and the wide array of O&R employees who support those functions.
Since 7 p.m. today, the total number of customers affected thus far by this storm is 137.
For the most up-to-date outage information, please go to O&R’s Outage Map. Here are the current outage largest outage numbers by county and communities as of 9:15 p.m.:
Spring Valley – 7
New Hempstead – 6
Orange County, NY
Woodbury – 84
O&R urges its customers to stay 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. If the situation requires urgent action, call your local police to divert traffic until an O&R crew arrives.
How to report an outage
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/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.
How Restoration Works
Once it is safe to assess storm damage and begin service restoration, O&R crews will give priority to making repairs that clear major community roads – work that also restores power to a sizable number of neighboring customers. At the same time, crews will restore power to critical and emergency facilities (police and fire stations, and hospitals, for example). Then, crews will focus on getting power back on to those locations that will return electricity to the most customers quickly. Crews then will work their way down to restore smaller outages and individual customer’s outages.
The following video describes the typical storm repair and power restoration process: https://youtu.be/JeGU8ID4_m0
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.
In addition, O&R personnel have been instructed to follow all safety protocols when responding to emergency calls to keep everyone safe from the coronavirus. O&R asks members of the public to maintain appropriate social distance when they encounter O&R employees working in the field, to provide for mutual safety.
To further help its customers prepare to weather a storm, O&R offers these tips:
- 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).