Storm Watch: O&R Ramps Up; Tropical Storm Remnants Could Trigger Thunderstorms
Orange & Rockland (O&R) is preparing to deploy its emergency response team as needed to repair damage and restore electric service outages resulting from potential scattered, isolated severe thunderstorms that could develop across the area between midnight and 7 a.m. Thursday as remnants of Tropical Storm Fred pass through the region.
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.
O&R company and contractor overhead line crews and tree removal experts are ramping up to mobilize as are customer service operations and the wide array of O&R teams that support those functions.
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.
The remnants of Tropical Storm Fred will pass to our northwest across central NY overnight, with scattered showers and thunderstorms likely between midnight and 7 a.m. Thursday. These storms have the potential to become severe in isolated areas during this time frame. Heavy rainfall is possible, with total rainfall amounts of 0.50 – 2.00” expected. Winds are due to be moderate 5-15 mph with gusts up to 25 mph. Any showers or thunderstorms end after approximately 7 a.m. as this system weakens further and moves into New England by late morning.
The following video describes the typical storm repair and power restoration process: https://youtu.be/JeGU8ID4_m0
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.
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