O&R Readies Crews as Severe Thunderstorms Threaten Wednesday Night
September 7, 2021, 3:30 p.m. – Orange & Rockland (O&R) is preparing to deploy its emergency response team to repair damage and restore power to electric service outages that could result from severe thunderstorms potentially developing across the area Wednesday night.
O&R company and contractor overhead line crews and tree removal experts are preparing to mobilize early Wednesday evening as are customer service operations and the wide array of O&R teams that support those functions.
A cold front approaches our region making scattered showers likely between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Wednesday night.
Then scattered thunderstorms, potentially severe in isolated areas, are possible until about 2 a.m. Thursday. Total rainfall amounts of around 1-inch, with isolated areas with 2-inch amounts are likely. A severe thunderstorm is defined as packing wind gusts of 57 m.p.h. or more, hail of one inch or more in diameter and heavy rains. The predicted potential severe storms could damage trees, utility poles, and overhead electric wires, causing power outages.
Prevailing winds are expected to be 10 to 20 mph, with frequent gusts to 30 mph after 5 p.m. Wednesday night through 2 a.m. Thursday. The cold front is expected to exit the area Thursday afternoon.
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 at 911 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 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.
Once the weather clears enough to safely assess damage and begin electric service restoration, crews will give priority to clearing downed wires blocking roads and making repairs to critical and emergency facilities (police and fire stations, and hospitals, for example) and to those locations that will provide power to the most customers quickly. Then, crews will restore smaller outages and individual customers’ 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.
- 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.
O&R and contractor 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.
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 all of Rockland, and parts of Orange and Sullivan counties in New York and, through its wholly owned subsidiary Rockland Electric Company, O&R serves parts of Bergen, Passaic, and Sussex counties in New Jersey.
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).