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Hudson Valley Press


October 29th, 2012

O&R: Storm Cuts Power to 50,000



PEARL RIVER — O&R electric crews have restored service to approximately 4,000 of the 50,000 customers whose power was knocked out by the affects of the steady arrival of Hurricane Sandy into the region today.

Repairs to the remaining 46,000 customers are ongoing, and the number of new outages developing is increasing.

Based on the historic nature of Hurricane Sandy's devastating power and widespread scope, O&R expects extensive widespread damage to the O&R electric system. Repairs necessary to restore electric service knocked out by the hurricane could last 7 -10 days, with a possibility of longer duration outages for some areas.

As a result, O&R has mobilized and deployed all available company and contractor crews to repair storm damage and restore service. This is an all-hands-on-deck event. About 1,000 O&R employees were joined by about 800 contractor field workers today. More crews are expected to arrive through the week.

We currently have 122,983 outages in our service teeritory. Numbers by county are as follows:
- Rockland: 59.036
- Orange: 25,844
- Bergen: 23,971
- Passaic: 7,319
-Sullivan: 6,031
- Pike: 696
- Sussex: 86

To help its customers prepare to weather a storm, O&R offers these tips:

  • For safety’s sake, don’t touch or approach any downed wire. Assume it is energized and dangerous. Call O&R immediately toll-free 1-877-434-4100. Depending on the situation, you may also want to call your local police to divert traffic until an O&R crew arrives.
  • Maintain a distance of at least 50 feet from downed wires and anything they are in contact with including puddles of water and fences. Supervise your children so that they are not in the vicinity and keep pets on a leash.
  • If a fallen wire is draped over a car, do not approach the car and make rescue attempts. Remain a safe distance away, and try to keep the occupant of the vehicle calm. If possible, emergency personnel should handle the situation.
  • Stock up on non-perishable food, bottled water, manual can opener, baby supplies and pet food. Set your refrigerator and freezer controls to their coldest settings. Fill the bathtub with water.
  • Have emergency equipment within reach — portable radio, flashlights, candles and matches, spare batteries, first aid kit, cell phone and important medications. Update your personal list of emergency phone numbers. Keep O&R’s toll-free number 1-877-434-4100 near the phone to report power outages.
  • If you experience a power outage, don’t assume that O&R automatically knows about it or that someone else will report it. To be sure the outage is reported, please call O&R toll-free at 1-877-434-4100 to let O&R know what happened. The more information you can provide, the more O&R can help you.
  • Remember, if the base station of your cordless phone plugs into the wall, your phone will be unusable during a power outage.
  • If a family member relies on electrically operated medical devices, secure a portable generator or make alternate arrangements for care. O&R does not provide customers with generators.
  • Keep at least a half-tank of gas in your car. Consider having extra cash on-hand, in case ATM machines don’t work.
  • Listen for storm alerts on the radio. In case of power outages, O&R will keep the stations updated on repair progress.
  • Learn how to manually open and close any electrically powered garage door, security door or gate.


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