Severe winds raked the Mid-Hudson Valley overnight as Tropical Storm Sandy made landfall, interrupting electric service to more than 7 million in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, including 82,000 Central Hudson customers. Service interruptions caused by high winds impacted the entire region, with more than 27,000 outages in Dutchess County; 28,000 in Ulster County; nearly 19,000 in Orange County; and 2,700 outages in Putnam County.“Fortunately, the winds have subsided as of this morning and conditions are safe for line crews to begin launching a full restoration effort,” said James P. Laurito, President of Central Hudson. “Given the magnitude of the storm damage, we expect extended restoration times.”
Central Hudson is deploying a field force of 700 employee line personnel, mutual aid crews and contractors, together with hundreds of employees serving in support functions. “Mutual aid crews continue to arrive this morning, and we anticipate additional resources will arrive later in the week,” said Laurito. “Together, these forces are addressing more than 900 distinct damage locations.
“Damage assessment teams have also begun to inspect the impact of the storm to the electric system, and we will first make repairs to major facilities, such as substations and transmission lines, in order to reenergize the system before moving on to local neighborhoods,” he said. The storm caused damage to one substation and five transmission lines, and seven major distribution circuits were out of service.
“Once the major facilities are on line, we will then focus on those repairs that can safely and effectively restore power to the greatest number of customers, and if possible to critical care and emergency response facilities, such as municipal water and sewer systems. Crews will systematically work along the local distribution circuits until all power is restored.” More information on how Central Hudson restores power following major storms is available at www.CentralHudson.com/outage/outage_restoration.html, or in the StormCentral section of the utility’s website.
Distribution of dry ice and bottled water will be begin later today, and announcements will be made once distribution locations are determined.
“Remember to keep safety in mind, especially when it comes to downed power lines,” said Laurito. “Tomorrow is Halloween, and we urge parents and children to avoid areas where lines have fallen. Be aware that downed lines may also be hidden in fallen trees or piles of leaves. Exercise extreme caution when outdoors while service restoration is taking place.”
Other safety tips include:
- Staying at least 30 feet away from downed power lines, and lines which may be entangled and hidden in fallen trees. Assume all downed lines are live;
- Avoiding the use of candles for illumination;
- Following the manufacturer’s safety instructions on the use of emergency generators, and be sure to shut off the main breaker when in use and to only operate the units outdoors; and
- Never using outdoor gas or charcoal grills indoors, as they pose a fire hazard and over time can give off deadly carbon monoxide gas. Use these appliances only outdoors with proper ventilation. Similarly, operate cars and motor vehicles outdoors only, and never in the garage.
Customers should call Central Hudson’s PowerLine at (845) 452-2700 or 1-800-527-2714 to report their power condition, and they are encouraged to use the automated reporting system