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Storm Watch: Tropical Storm Nicole Threatens Region Friday Evening Into Saturday. O&R Prepares To Mobilize For Storm Repair, Power Restoration

Tropical Storm Nicole, packing strong winds and heavy rains, is expected to roar through the region Friday evening into early Saturday morning. To meet that threat, O&R is preparing to mobilize its company-wide emergency response group to repair possible storm damage and restore electric service interruptions as needed.

That means O&R company and contractor overhead line crews and tree removal experts, customer service operations and the other O&R teams that support the emergency response effort will be activated early Friday evening. Those teams will be joined by mutual aid overhead line and tree contractors that will increase O&R’s line workforce to more than three times its usual size.

O&R Warns

For safety’s sake, O&R warns the public not to touch or approach any downed wire. Assume it is energized and dangerous. Call O&R immediately toll-free 1-877-434-4100. Depending on the situation, you may also consider calling your local police to divert traffic from the downed wire’s location until an O&R crew arrives.

Weather Forecast

Temperatures will be closer to seasonable levels today in the wake of yesterday’s cold front. High pressure will be in control and provide a dry stretch of weather today through Thursday. Clouds will increase Thursday night well ahead of Nicole followed by rain showers developing Friday afternoon across the area.

Rain will become moderate to heavy at times between 8 p.m. Friday and noon Saturday as Nicole interacts with a cold front west of O&R’s service area. Approximately 1-3 inches of rain is likely across the area with isolated higher amounts possible. Strong gusty winds are expected across the area from 8 p.m. Friday to 3 a.m. Saturday, especially closer to the coast.

In addition, there is a 10% chance for sustained tropical storm force winds to occur along the immediate coast during this timeframe. The strongest winds will quickly end after 3 a.m. Saturday coinciding with a cold frontal passage, although rain will remain moderate to heavy at times until about 6 a.m. Showers will end by afternoon and temperatures will fall into the 40’s as this system exits to the northeast. Much cooler temperatures develop into Sunday and early next week.

Subtropical Storm Nicole is currently located east northeast of the Bahamas. This system is expected to gradually strengthen while tracking generally west today, then bending west and southwest while crossing the Bahamas tonight into Wednesday. Nicole is expected to make landfall near Port St. Lucie, FL Wednesday night into Thursday morning as a hurricane.

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 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.

For the latest information about power outages, please view O&R’s Outage Map.

For a brief video that provides a step-by-step guide to the Outage Map’s basic operation:

In English
In Spanish

Restoring Service

O&R’s Priority Restoration Group (PRG) will be mobilized for this event. Once the weather clears enough to safely assess damage and begin electric service restoration, PRG 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 where the repair will provide power to the largest number of customers quickly. Then, crews will restore smaller outages and individual customers’ outages.

Important Safety Tips

  • For safety’s sake, don’t touch or approach any downed wire. Assume it is energized and dangerous. Call O&R immediately toll-free 1-877-434-4100. Depending on the situation, you may also want to call your local police to divert traffic until an O&R crew arrives.
  • 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.

About O&R

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’s Customers

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).