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Storm Watch: O&R Prepares to Respond to Potential Nor’easter Damage

Orange & Rockland (O&R) today declared a storm watch and began ramping up its emergency response team for deployment Monday morning to repair damage and restore electric service outages that could result from a winter nor’easter, packing gusty winds and heavy snow, that is expected to sweep through the region Sunday night through Tuesday.

A few snow showers are expected to develop across the area late Sunday night as the storm approaches. Periods of snow will then appear across the region early Monday. Then, Monday morning, snow while intensify. Gusty winds are expected to develop, with snow falling moderately to heavy at times through late Monday afternoon. Snow showers will continue through Monday evening as the storm slowly tracks east of Long Island. Winds will diminish and snow showers will become more scattered by Tuesday morning as the low moves further offshore toward New England.

Four to 10 inches of snow are likely across the area. Sustained winds of 10-25 mph are expected with gusty winds from 30-40 mph possible from 6 a.m. Monday through 10 a.m. Tuesday.

The gusty winds and heavy snow could damage trees, utility poles and power lines, resulting in power outages. To make repairs and restore electric service as needed, company and contractor overhead line crews and tree removal experts are being activated as needed for storm duty Monday morning. O&R has obtained 105 mutual aid overhead line technicians to support its emergency response. That mutual aid help doubles the size of O&R’s overhead line response workforce.

The following video describes the typical storm repair and power restoration process: https://youtu.be/JeGU8ID4_m0

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.

Be Safe

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.

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.

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).