FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 30, 2011 – 9 a.m.
Brewster Division Hardest Hit; New Outages Occurring as Repair Work Begins
>> NYSEG urges customers to stay away from downed power lines – even lines that appear dead can be deadly. NYSEG customers should call 1.800.572.1131 to report downed power lines or other hazardous situations.
>> Emergency generators can be dangerous. Carefully read, understand and follow manufacturer’s instructions when operating an emergency generator. Never run emergency generators indoors; operate them only outdoors in well-ventilated areas and away from windows and doors.
>> NYSEG’s natural gas emergency number: 1.800.572.1121
>> The latest outage information: http://www.nyseg.com/Outages/outageinformation.html
>> Follow us on Twitter: @NYSEandG www.twitter.com/nyseandg.
>> The next news release will be distributed at 9 p.m.
Rochester, NY – Heavy, wet snow and wind have caused severe and widespread damage to NYSEG’s electricity delivery system – much of the damage the result of falling tree limbs and trees – leaving approximately 82,000 NYSEG customers in the company’s Brewster, Liberty and Mechanicville operating divisions without power. Even as hundreds of NYSEG and contract personnel who were moved into those operating divisions in advance of the storm respond to downed wires incidents to make those situations safe and begin to make repairs, damage is mounting and new outages are occurring. The current outage counts are:
• 72,000 in NYSEG’s Brewster Division (parts of Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties, where NYSEG serves 85,000 customers).
• 7,900 in NYSEG’s Liberty Division (parts of Sullivan, Orange, Delaware and Ulster counties, where NYSEG serves 50,000 customers).
• 2,300 in NYSEG’s Mechanicville Division (parts of Saratoga, Washington, Rensselaer and Columbia counties, where NYSEG serves 47,000 customers).
Once NYSEG’s damage assessment is further along, estimated restoration times will be assigned to each outage. Those estimated restoration times will be available at http://www.nyseg.com/Outages/outageinformation.html or 1.800.572.1131. Given the magnitude of the damage, customers should expect a long duration event.
NYSEG offers the following storm emergency tips:
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.
• Contact NYSEG (1.800.572.1131) to report a power interruption. Our telephone system lets callers report the problem, helps our crews respond quickly and efficiently, and provides 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 during a power interruption can also report the interruption online at nyseg.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.
• Emergency generators can be dangerous. Carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Never run an emergency generator indoors; operate generators only outdoors in well-ventilated areas.
• 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 to prevent food from spoiling – most food will last 24 hours.
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 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.