Our Company 
news release

October 31, 2012 – 1:30 p.m.


To Report Electricity Emergencies and Power Interruptions
NYSEG: 1.800.572.1131; RG&E: 1.800.743.1701

To Report Natural Gas Emergencies and Suspected Natural Gas Odors
(If you smell natural gas, get up, get out and contact us from a neighbor’s phone.)
NYSEG: 1.800.572.1121; RG&E: 1.800.743.1702

Despite Severe and Widespread Damage, NYSEG and RG&E Have Restored 57% of Interruptions Caused by Hurricane Sandy

Rochester, NY – While NYSEG and RG&E are continuing a full-court press in the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy, the companies have made solid progress in making repairs and restoring service. Of the 267,000 total service interruptions caused by the destructive storm, 57% (approximately 153,000) have been restored.

“Because of the good work our people have done across NYSEG and RG&E’s combined 20,000-square-mile service area, we have been moving considerable additional resources to those areas where damage is most severe,” said Mark S. Lynch, president of NYSEG and RG&E. “We expect to continue to make good progress restoring service today in the RG&E service area and in completing a comprehensive damage assessment in NYSEG’s downstate service areas. That damage assessment will enable us to establish global estimated restoration times and put in place a detailed service restoration plan.” 

Nearly 500 company line crews and contract line and tree crews, along with hundreds of support personnel, are working on the massive power restoration project, primarily in Putnam, Westchester, Sullivan, Dutchess and Monroe counties.

“Our work is going to take considerable time – it is going to be a long duration event, particularly in the hardest-hit areas – but we are confident in our people and our plan,” Lynch said. “We understand that being without power is inconvenient for our customers, and our goal is to restore service safely and as quickly as possible.”

Current Power Interruption Counts
NYSEG (105,400 total)
(Counties with 500 outages or more are listed.)
Putnam County  32,700 
Westchester County 31,600
Sullivan County  24,800
Dutchess County 9,100
Ulster County  3,900
Delaware County 800
Steuben County  700

RG&E (7,600 total)
(Counties with 500 outages or more are listed.)
Monroe County  7,000  
Wayne County  500

For more details and the latest outage numbers, visit:

http://www.nyseg.com/Outages/outageinformation.html (NYSEG)
http://www.rge.com/Outages/outageinformation.html (RG&E)

Restoration Times
As restoration times are available for each outage, they are available at:
http://ebiz1.nyseg.com/cusweb/outagenotification.aspx or 1.800.572.1131 (NYSEG)
http://ebiz1.rge.com/cusweb/outagenotification.aspx or 1.800.743.1701(RG&E)

The Magnitude of the Damage
(downstate service area): 136 broken poles, approximately 4,000 wires down incidents

RG&E: 72 broken poles, approximately 500 wires down incidents

Safety Reminders

  • NYSEG and RG&E have reminded employees and contractors to be particularly cautious this evening when youngsters may be trick-or-treating. The companies also encourage everyone who may be out this evening to be careful and to avoid areas where storm debris and damaged electric facilities remain.
  • 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.

How We Go About Restoring Power
The safety of crews, customers and the community is paramount when it comes to restoring power. The first priority in responding to a widespread power interruption is removing hazards – such as live, fallen power lines. We then make necessary repairs to the backbone of the system: transmission lines and substations. Next, we work on our local delivery system, including the poles and power lines along streets and roads. We focus first on critical facilities such as hospitals, nursing homes, and fire and power stations. We also focus on areas where we have customers who depend on electrically operated, life-sustaining equipment. Overall it’s a time-proven process that ensures we restore service safely and as quickly as possible.

“It is critical that we follow this restoration process,” Lynch said.