O&R Ready to Make Repairs, Restore Power as Tropical Storm Elsa Nears
Emergency Prep: Thunderstorms Tonight, Elsa Overnight Into Friday
Orange & Rockland’s (O&R) emergency response team is mobilizing to repair damage and restore electric service outages that could result both from the remnants of Tropical Storm Elsa that are expected to pass nearby overnight tonight and into Friday and from the effects of severe, scattered thunderstorms that are forecast to develop across the area earlier this evening.
Today is the third consecutive day that O&R company and contractor overhead line crews and tree removal experts and the wide array of O&R teams that support those functions are being mobilized for severe evening thunderstorm activity. The O&R team is further supported by 95 additional overhead line contractors, almost doubling the size of O&R’s field forces.
Warm and humid conditions persist today under mostly cloudy skies. Isolated showers and thunderstorms will be possible this afternoon and evening, with the potential for a few storms to become severe between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m.
A severe thunderstorm is defined as packing wind gusts of 57 mph 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.
The initial effects of Tropical Storm Elsa are expected to impact the O&R region about 2 a.m. Friday. By 4 a.m. moderate to heavy rainfall (1-3 inches), scattered thunderstorms, and gusty winds are due to cover the area through the morning Friday until around noon. During that period, expect O&R to sustain winds of 10-20 mph, gusting to 25-35 mph. Gusty winds and rain will diminish after noon Friday as Elsa departs northeastward.
The following video describes the typical storm repair and power restoration process: https://youtu.be/JeGU8ID4_m0
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.
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 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.
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).