New York State Electric & Gas is preparing for inclement weather as a result of a cold front which is expected to move into its service areas Thursday evening and could potentially impact portions of the company’s service area statewide.
Current forecasts call the storm to begin late Thursday and continue overnight into Friday morning. NYSEG’s Western New York service areas will be impacted by a wintry mix of rain, freezing rain and snow, while the Eastern New York service areas will experience moderate to heavy rain accompanied by strong wind gusts with peak gusts that have the possibility to reach 60-65 mph in the Southeastern portion of the state. The company expects the Eastern New York service areas to be most significantly impacted as the strong winds may cause trees and branches to break and fall on electrical equipment, causing service disruption. The company is also monitoring water levels for any flood impacts to either electricity or natural gas infrastructure.
The Western New York service areas are also expected to experience lake effect snow Friday and Saturday. Accumulation could reach a foot in portions of the company’s Lancaster division, which includes Cattaraugus, Chautauqua and Erie counties.
The company’s storm readiness teams have been monitoring weather forecasts, planning, readying crews and equipment, coordinating with local municipal officials, mobilizing employees for storm duty and have additional contract tree and line crews ready to help restore service should outages occur. NYSEG will also have personnel patrolling for flooding conditions as necessary. The company urges customers to monitor local forecasts and prepare for the possibility of service interruptions.
Here’s what the company is doing to prepare:
Company and contractor crews will be onsite and prepared to facilitate an effective and efficient response if outages occur. Resources will be placed on a rotational schedule to ensure response through the overnight hours as necessary.
The line and tree crews will be prepared to respond to any snow or wind related issues with bucket trucks, auger trucks, wood chippers, dump trucks and backhoes. Additionally, new wooden poles and replacement transformers are being strategically placed to streamline restoration efforts.
How to Stay Up-To-Date
NYSEG will provide updates throughout the event to the general public on their website and social media channels (Facebook and Twitter). Customers should also sign up for email alerts and download the NYSEG mobile app to get the most up-to-date information.
The company also offer customers the following reminders to prepare for the storm and stay safe if power outages do occur.
Before a storm strikes
- You can use our new mobile app to report and check the status of outages. To download the application, customers should search “AVANGRID” in the Apple or Android app stores and select “NYSEG”. The application is free to download.
- Sign up for Outage Alerts to receive updates automatically by phone, text, or email as the company updates the status of the restoration process in their area. Customers can sign up for outage alerts by visiting here for NYSEG.
- Keep battery-operated flashlights and radios on hand, along with supplies of drinking water and non-perishable foods.
- Make sure that smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices are fully charged.
- Fill your car’s fuel tank.
Stay Out of Flooded Basements
- Stay out of flooded basements—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 your basement or home is in danger of flooding, contact NYSEG at 1.800.572.1131 to turn off your electricity and/or natural gas service.
- 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.
Stay Away From Downed Wires
- Stay at least 30 feet from a downed power line.
- If a downed wire comes in contact with your vehicle, stay inside and wait for help. If you must get out because of fire or other danger, jump clear of the vehicle to avoid any contact with the vehicle and the ground at the same time. Land with your feet together and hop with feet together or shuffle away; don’t run or stride.
- NYSEG customers should call 1.800.572.1131 to report downed power lines or other hazardous situations.
- Keep electric and gas meters and regulators clear of snow and ice by using a broom or by hand – not a shovel.
- Snow should not be pushed or piled around electric or natural gas meters.
- Beware of exhaust getting trapped by snow around an appliance sidewall outside vent from a natural gas appliance. All equipment outside vents should be kept clear of snow and ice.
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.
- 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.
Power Restoration Priorities
The company’s first priorities are to respond to reports of downed power lines to keep the public safe. NYSEG customers are asked to call 1.800.572.1131 to report downed wires. 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.
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