O&R Ready to Make Repairs, Restore Power as Tropical Storm Threatens
O&R is mobilizing its company-wide emergency response group to make repairs and restore electric service in the event Tropical Storm Henri, packing high, destructive winds and heavy downpours, departs from its current course and roars into the region early Sunday morning.
Because Henri’s ultimate path between now and Sunday remains uncertain at this time, O&R company and contractor overhead line crews and tree removal experts have been activated for storm duty beginning before dawn Sunday.
Damage assessment, site safety, customer service operations and the wide array of O&R teams that support those functions also will be ready to respond. In addition, O&R has obtained additional contractor overhead line technicians and tree removal experts to supplement its storm response. Those additional resources expand O&R’s field workforce by nearly seven times its normal size.
The following video describes the typical storm repair and power restoration process: https://youtu.be/JeGU8ID4_m0
Forecasters predict that Tropical Storm Henri will slowly track westward today, then turn northwest and north on Friday while likely strengthening into a hurricane. Sunday’s weather will be dependent on Henri’s exact track and proximity to the East Coast. Based on Henri’s current course, mostly cloudy skies and breezy winds 5-20 mph with gusts for 20-30 mph are expected Sunday with a chance of isolated showers and thunderstorms.
However, if Henri takes a further westward track on Friday, that course could bring tropical storm force winds into the area as early as 4 a.m. Sunday. If that happens, expect thunderstorms, some severe a times, with sustained winds of 40 mph with gusts to 55 mph and rain totals of 1- 4 inches.
Those strong winds may knock trees and branches onto power lines, causing customers to lose service. For safety’s sake, don’t touch or approach any downed wires.
If Henri strikes, 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.
O&R personnel have been instructed to practice social distancing with each other and members of the public when responding to emergency calls in an attempt to keep everyone safe from the coronavirus. O&R asks members of the public as well to maintain appropriate social distancing when they encounter O&R employees working in the field, to provide for mutual safety.
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.
Who We Serve
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).