NYSEG and RG&E Continue Preparations for Significant Wind Event
Customers Should Prepare for the Potential of Multi-Day Power Disruptions
- Stay away from downed power lines -- even lines that appear dormant can be deadly.
- NYSEG customers should call 1-800-572-1131 to report downed power lines or other hazardous situations; RG&E customers should call 1-800-743-1701.
ROCHESTER, NY — February 23, 2019 — NYSEG and RG&E, subsidiaries of AVANGRID (NYSE: AGR), are monitoring weather forecasts and are preparing for the possibility of hurricane-force winds across New York State. Extreme winds reaching as high as 75 mph are expected to begin tomorrow morning, lasting through the day into Monday impacting NYSEG and RG&E service areas in western New York. Winds may persist statewide at lower speeds of 50-60 mph. These wind conditions could cause flying debris, tree uprooting and damage to NYSEG and RG&E equipment, causing extensive power outages lasting several days. Customers are urged to monitor forecasts, stay safe and plan accordingly.
If the winds persist, there may be a period of time that we will have to wait to start restoration. Restoration and tree crews will focus on cutting and clearing wires and trees to make conditions safe.
As part of NYSEG and RG&E’s comprehensive emergency response plan, more than 2,000 line, tree and service and support personnel have been preparing and are being positioned to respond. In addition to company and contract resources, the Companies are working to secure resources from Canada, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.
NYSEG and RG&E are opening offices in seven divisions (Lancaster, Lockport, Rochester Central, Hornell, Fillmore, Sodus and Canandaigua) with full Incident Command Staff. Municipal road clearing crews have been provided to County Emergency Operation Centers (EOCs) in the seven divisions to ensure that resources are available to remove downed equipment or debris that is blocking critical roads. Other offices are on alert with standby crews and may open fully if disruptions occur. The Companies’ Emergency Operations Center for Area Command will also be open and will remain open for the duration of the event.
The Companies have mobilized damage assessors and wire guards, and dry ice and bottled water distribution teams. Dry ice vendors have been notified with initial plans for distribution centers in the Lancaster, Hornell and Rochester areas. Once posted, customers can look for locations at nyseg.com or rge.com, clicking on the outage page, and then clicking on “Outage Resources.”
NYSEG and RG&E encourage customers to sign up for Outage Alerts to receive updates throughout the day automatically by phone, text, or email as the company updates the status of the restoration process in their area. This information is also available online at http://www.nyseg.com/Outages/outageinformation.html or http://www.rge.com/Outages/outageinformation.html.
Power Restoration Priorities
NYSEG’s and RG&E’s first priorities are to respond to known incidents of downed power lines to make the situations safe. (NYSEG customers are asked to call 1-800-572-1131 to report downed wires. RG&E customers are asked to call 1-800-743-1701.) Once this vital public safety work is complete, the company will assess the damage to the electricity delivery system and develop a detailed restoration plan. Crews will make
repairs as quickly as possible.
Restoring Power Following Major Storms
We first repair the backbone of the electricity system – transmission lines and substations – that bring electricity to the local distribution system that serves our customers. We then make any necessary repairs to the distribution system that includes the poles and power lines along streets and roads, focusing first on those circuits where we can restore power to the largest number of customers. As part of this process, we take into account the needs of hospitals, nursing homes, fire and police stations, as well as any other critical infrastructure. Our goal is to ensure that we safely restore service as
quickly and efficiently as possible.
NYSEG and RG&E offer the following reminders:
During a Power Interruption
- Contact neighbors to see if their power is off. A loss of power may be the result of a blown fuse or a tripped circuit breaker.
- To report a power interruption, contact NYSEG at 1-800-572-1131 or RG&E at 1-800-743-1701. Our telephone systems let callers report the problem, help our crews respond quickly and efficiently, and provide customers with power interruption updates. Anyone who has access to a working computer or mobile device during a power interruption can also report the interruption online at nyseg.com or rge.com.
- Listen to a battery-powered radio for weather and power restoration updates.
- Turn off major appliances (electric water heaters, refrigerators and freezers) and sensitive electronic equipment (TVs, VCRs, DVD players, computers, and audio equipment) to prevent overloading and possible damage when power is restored. Turning off this equipment may mean unplugging it, turning off a circuit breaker or removing a fuse for the circuit that provides power to this equipment.
- Leave one light switch “on” to know when power has been restored.
- Don’t use a natural gas or propane range to heat your home.
- Never use outdoor grills or stoves inside.
- Keep refrigerators and freezers closed as much as possible. Most food lasts 24 hours if you minimize the opening of refrigerator and freezer doors.
After Power Is Restored
- If a basement or home was flooded, customers should have an electrician check the home and have a plumbing and heating contractor check natural gas appliances before contacting NYSEG or RG&E to have services turned on.
- Turn on appliances and sensitive electronic equipment one at a time to avoid overloading circuits.
- Replenish emergency supplies used during the storm.
- Additional storm safety information is available at nyseg.com or rge.com (click on “Safety” and then on “Storm Safety”).