O&R Ramps Up Its Storm Response as Ida Strengthens Across the Region
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 tonight as the remnants of tropical depression Ida push through the region.
O&R company and contractor overhead line crews and tree removal experts are preparing to mobilize early this evening as are site safety, customer service operations and the wide array of O&R teams that support those functions.
The remnants of Ida will strengthen as they move across the area tonight. Expect cloudy skies with scattered showers through late afternoon today. Showers will be more numerous by evening today, becoming moderate to heavy at times between 8 p.m. tonight and 4 a.m. Thursday.
Isolated thunderstorms are likely across the area tonight, and some have the potential to become severe between 8 p.m. tonight and 1 a.m. Thursday.
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.
In addition, winds will become gusty after 8 p.m. tonight while Ida’s remnants become stronger as they cross the area. Those winds will remain gusty through 7 a.m. Thursday when this system is expected to exit the area. Sustained winds are predicted to range from 15-25 m.p.h. with gusts of between 35 and 45 m.p.h. In total, 3-6 inches of rain is likely to fall today into Thursday morning.
O&R urges its customers to stay clear of downed electric wires. Don’t go near any downed wire. Assume all downed wires are 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 control 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 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.
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.
Who We Are
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).