NYSEG and RG&E Warn of Sandy’s Fierce Winds

By Denise Edmister

NYSEG and RG&E Warn of Sandy’s Fierce Winds

October 29, 2012 Updated Oct 29, 2012 at 4:19 PM EDT

 (Media Release)

Rochester, NY  WBNG Binghamton – Sustained 40-mile-per-hour winds and gusts of 60 miles per hour or more from the remnants of Hurricane Sandy are likely to cause serious damage to NYSEG’s and RG&E’s electricity delivery system, leaving some customers without power for many days.

 The only question now is exactly where the damage and outages will occur.

“We are prepared to respond to outages and we encourage our customers to be prepared to be without power as a result of this historic storm,” said Mark S. Lynch, president of NYSEG and RG&E. “Most importantly, we urge our customers to stay safe during and after the storm.”

“The first phase of the service restoration process, damage assessment, will not begin until the storm passes, perhaps on Wednesday, so we ask that customers be prepared for a long duration event,” Lynch said.

NYSEG’s and RG&E’s first priority is responding to known incidents of downed power lines to make the situations safe. (NYSEG customers should call 1.800.572.1131 to report downed wires; RG&E customers should call 1.800.743.1701.) Once this vital public safety work is complete, the companies will:

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

In addition to wind damage, NYSEG and RG&E are concerned that flash flooding and flooding in low-lying areas could affect both electricity and natural gas facilities.

NYSEG and RG&E have been preparing for this storm for the better part of a week. All employees are on heightened alert, front line employees are prepared to respond to the hardest hit areas, additional line and tree crews are available, outreach staff is working with county and municipal officials, the companies have secured supplies of dry ice and bottled water and company representatives are stationed at the New York State Office of Emergency Management “bunker.”

 As restoration times are available for each outage, they are available at:

NYSEG - http://www.nyseg.com/Outages/outageinformation.html or 1.800.572.1131.

RG&E - http://www.rge.com/Outages/outageinformation.html or 1.800.743.1701.

 NYSEG and RG&E offer the following safety reminders:

  • Stay away from downed power lines – even lines that appear “dead” can be deadly.  
  • Stay out of flooded basements because energized wiring or outlets below the water line may pose a hazard. Natural gas service in a flooded basement may also pose a danger. If a basement or home is in danger of flooding, customers should contact their utilities to turn off electricity and/or natural gas service. 
  • 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, away from windows and doors, and never in a garage. 
  • For electricity emergencies and to report power interruptions, NYSEG customers should call 1.800.572.1131; RG&E customers should call 1.800.743.1701. 
  • For natural gas emergencies and to report suspected natural gas odors, NYSEG customers should call 1.800.572.1121; RG&E customers should call 1.800.743.1702. (If you smell natural gas, get up, get out and contact your natural gas utility from a neighbor’s phone.)

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