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news release

NYSEG Assembles Team of 500 to Restore Electricity and Natural Gas Service

 >> To report electric emergencies and power interruptions, NYSEG customers  should call 1.800.572.1131; to report natural gas emergencies, 1.800.572.1121.

 >> If you smell natural gas, get up, get out and call your natural gas company or 911  from another location. Do not light matches, use any electrical appliances, turn lights on  or off, or use the phone at the location of the suspected leak – any of these actions could  provide a source of ignition for any natural gas that is present.

 >> 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.

 >> Stay away from downed power lines. Even lines that appear “dead” can be deadly.

Binghamton, NY – (September 9, 2011) NYSEG has assembled more than 500 damage assessment and service restoration personnel, some from other regions of New York and Maine, in the Binghamton and Oneonta areas to speed the restoration of services to customers once floodwaters recede.

“We have surveyed the damage to our facilities from the air and we have plans in place to deal with a multitude of infrastructure problems,” said Mark S. Lynch, president of NYSEG and RG&E, who got a first-hand look at the devastation today. “We know that the flooding is much worse than in 2006 when it took considerable time to make repairs. What we don’t know is how quickly the floodwaters will recede and whether there will then be access problems.”

“We have a massive restoration project ahead of us, and while we are intensely focused on that job, our thoughts are also with our customers whose homes and businesses have been directly affected by the flooding,” Lynch said.

As of 11 a.m., approximately 15,500 NYSEG electricity customers in the Binghamton Division and 2,000 customers in the Oneonta Division are without service. As a result of turnoffs and the natural gas main break in Vestal (see below), approximately 4,200 customers are without natural gas service, primarily in the Binghamton region. This figure is likely to increase as NYSEG is able to gain access to areas such as Owego where as many as 5,000 to 6,000 natural gas customers may be affected.

Here’s a run down of NYSEG’s service restoration plans:

Castle Gardens Substation (Flooded)
3,600 customers without electricity service
Once floodwaters recede and access to the site is permitted, NYSEG will move in and connect a portable substation to restore service where conditions permit.

Goudey Substation (Flooded)
1,200 customers without electricity service
Once floodwaters recede and access to the site is permitted, NYSEG will assess damage to the facility and make any necessary repairs.

Lounsberry Substation (Flooded)
2,000 customers without electricity service
Once floodwaters recede and access to the site is permitted, NYSEG will move in and connect a portable substation to restore service where conditions permit.

Maine Substation (Flooded)
Repairs have been made, the substation has been re-energized and service has been restored to 1,400 customers.

South Owego Substation (Affected by flooding at Goudey Substation and transmission line issues)
5,500 customers without electricity service
NYSEG plans to set up an alternate feed to restore service to customers where conditions permit.

Sidney (Railroad Street) Substation (Flooded)
1,700 customers without power
Once floodwaters recede and access to the site is permitted, NYSEG will assess damage to the facility and make any necessary repairs.

While NYSEG’s Bainbridge and Jennison substations have also been affected by floodwaters, no customers served directly by those substations are currently without service.

Natural Gas Main Repairs – Vestal
A natural gas main break as a result of a wash out in Vestal yesterday has left approximately 1,300 customers without service. NYSEG personnel have gone door to door to shut off individual services in preparation to make repairs and restore service to the main. Once repairs to the main are complete, NYSEG personnel will have to go door to door again to begin restoration to individual services to customers that are ready for service.  NYSEG expects to complete restoration of services over the weekend.

For those customers whose homes or businesses have been flooded …
>> To have electricity service restored once flood waters have receded:
Customers should contact their utility to discuss specific circumstances; a safety inspection by a certified electrical inspector may be necessary before service can be restored. Someone must be present for service to be turned on, the basement must be free of water and the electrical panel must be clean and free of debris. Customers and contractors should never attempt to turn on electricity service.
           
>> To have natural gas service restored once flood waters have receded:
If the natural gas meter and/or regulator were under water, customers must first contact their natural gas company. If any natural gas equipment (furnace, boiler, water heater, etc.) has been under water, they need to contact a plumbing and heating contractor to have the equipment checked. Customers can then contact their natural gas company to have service restored. Customers and contractors should never attempt to turn on natural gas service.