RG&E Working To Restore Power To Remaining Customers Impacted By Last Week’s Wind Storm

  • Stay away from downed power lines.
  • Even lines that appear dead can be dangerous.
  • RG&E customers should call 800.743.1701 to report downed power lines or other hazardous situations;

ROCHESTER, NEW YORK  March 14, 2017 – RG&E, a subsidiary of AVANGRID Inc. (NYSE: AGR), continues restoration efforts to all remaining customers affected by last week’s wind storm. As of 8 p.m., fewer than 800 customers are without power. More than 125,000 customers affected by the storm have had their power restored.

Today more than 2,000 field personnel worked in extreme weather conditions to restore power. However, we remain committed to safely restoring power to the remaining customers by tonight. We have additional overnight crews continuing restoration work and ready to respond to other weather related emergencies.

“We thank our customers for their patience, as we along with our partners from other utilities, private companies, and municipals worked together in this restoration effort,” said Mark S. Lynch, president and CEO of NYSEG and RG&E. “We are grateful to the community for displaying support through social media, emails and many other kind gestures to our crews.”

Please keep the following important safety information in mind during the ongoing snow storm:

  • When removing snow and ice from driveways and sidewalks, make sure you stay clear of electric and natural gas meters to avoid damaging them, inadvertently disrupting service or putting yourself in danger. Snow and ice can damage electric and natural gas meters, natural gas pipes and natural gas regulators, so never bury any of this equipment when shoveling, using a snow blower or plowing.
  • When removing snow or ice from a roof, never let it fall on electric or natural gas meters or related equipment.
  • Natural gas appliance chimneys and vents should be kept free of snow and ice to prevent the build-up of potentially-deadly carbon monoxide.

Be prepared if you smell natural gas. If you smell that distinctive sulfur-like odor – like the smell of rotten eggs – get up, get out and call RG&E immediately from a neighbor’s phone.  

Power Restoration Priorities
Our first priority is responding to known incidents of downed power lines to make the situations safe. Once this vital public safety work is complete, the company will:

  • Assess the damage to the electricity delivery system.
  • Develop a detailed restoration plan. 
  • Make repairs as quickly as possible.

How We Go About 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 systems, including 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 needs. This is a time-proven process that ensures we safely restore service as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Customers should remember these tips:
During a Power Interruption

  • Check with your 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 RG&E at 800.743.1701. Our telephone system let callers report the problem, help our crews respond quickly and efficiently, and provide customers with power interruption updates. Because many people may be trying to reach us during a power interruption, phone lines may be busy. Anyone who has access to a working computer or mobile device during a power interruption can also report the interruption online at 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, 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 will last 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 your utility 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 rge.com (click on “Outage Central” and then on “Storm Safety”).


Media Contacts:
Juanita Washington