O&R Mobilized to Repair Possible Damage From Heavy Snow Due Tonight
Orange & Rockland mobilized its emergency response workforce this evening to repair potential damage and restore possible power outages that could result from a late-winter nor’easter that is predicted to begin dumping 6 to 10 inches of heavy, wet snow across the region tonight. That storm, accompanied by strong winds gusting at times to 50 m.p.h., is expected to last through Wednesday.
A snowstorm, featuring high water content as this storm does, could pose a significant threat to electric service because of the increased risk its weight contributes to downing trees, tree limbs and overhead electric lines --- all of which could interfere with the safe, reliable delivery of electric service.
O&R company and contractor overhead line crews and tree removal experts, customer service operators and the other O&R emergency response personnel were activated and deployed earlier this evening. O&R also has obtained enough overhead line mutual aid workers to increase the company’s overhead field workforce for this event by nearly five times its usual size.
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.
Rain showers today are expected to transition to snow across O&R’s service area after 8 p.m. tonight and fall heavy at times through tomorrow morning. Light to moderate snow is now expected to continue until Tuesday evening across O&R’s service area, where total accumulations of 6 to 12 inches of heavy, wet snow are expected, with isolated higher amounts possible. After 8 p.m. tonight, winds are expected to be sustained 10-20 mph with gusts of 30 mph.
Winds become gusty after approximately 5 p.m. Tuesday. Snowfall ends later in the evening. Prevailing winds will range from 15 to 25 mph with gusts from 35 to 45 mph. Winds will remain gusty through 5 p.m. Wednesday but will be highest Wednesday morning. Winds slowly diminish Wednesday evening as this storm system exits off the coast.
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.
- 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:
Once the weather clears enough to safely assess damage and begin electric service restoration, O&R 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 as quickly as possible. 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.
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 (part), Rivervale (part), Rockleigh, Saddle River (part), Upper Saddle River, Wantage (part), Vernon (part), West Milford (part), Wyckoff (part).