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Storm Alert: O&R Mobilizes for High Wind Event; Increases Field Forces by 50%

Orange & Rockland (O&R) has mobilized its emergency response team and obtained 50 additional overhead line technicians to repair damage and restore electric service outages that could result from strong winds, gusting as high as 60 mph, that are expected to sweep through O&R’s service area today through early Saturday morning.

The predicted high, gusty winds could damage trees, utility poles, and overhead electric wires, causing power outages.

O&R company and contractor overhead line crews and tree removal experts are ready to repair damage and restore service as needed. Customer Service operations and the wide array of O&R teams that support those functions are also prepared to respond. The 50 additional overhead line technicians obtained by O&R increases the company’s field forces by 50 percent for this event.

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.

Gusty winds are expected to develop throughout the area today through 8 a.m. Saturday.

Highest winds are predicted to peak from 5 p.m. today through 4 a.m. Saturday with sustained winds of 20 mph to 35 mph. and gusts ranging from 45 mph to as high as 60 mph.

Lighter winds are expected today through 5 p.m. and 4 a.m. through 8 a.m. Saturday, winds are expected to be sustained from 15 mph to 25 mph, gusting to 35 mph to 45 mph.

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.

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).