NYSEG Crews Ensuring Public Safety, Beginning Extensive Repairs to Restore Service
Violent Storms Left Widespread Destruction Across Ithaca Region, Scattered Damage in Other Areas Across NYSEG’s 18,000-Square-Mile Service Area
>> NYSEG urges customers to stay away from downed power lines – even lines that appear dead can be deadly. NYSEG customers should call 1.800.572.1131 to report downed power lines or other hazardous situations.
>> 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 and away from windows and doors. Learn more about generator safety at nyseg.com.
>> NYSEG’s natural gas emergency number is 1.800.572.1121.
Ithaca, NY – NYSEG, a subsidiary of Iberdrola USA, is responding to severe damage to its electricity delivery system in the Ithaca area as a result of last evening’s violent storms. Nearly 17,600 NYSEG customers in NYSEG’s Ithaca Division (Tompkins County and parts of Cortland, Cayuga, Seneca, Schuyler, Chemung and Tioga counties) – 30% of the customers NYSEG serves in the region – lost power as a result of the destruction.
In total, the storms caused an estimated 57,000 customer outages across NYSEG’s statewide service area.
Currently, 13,900 customers in NYSEG’s Ithaca Division are without power. NYSEG anticipates restoring 90% of the original Ithaca-area outages by Friday morning. In particularly hard-hit areas, including Lansing and Locke, restoration work will continue into Saturday.
For the latest outage counts, outage locations by county, municipality and streets/roads, and estimated restoration times (as they are available), visit http://www.nyseg.com/Outages/outageinformation.html.
“While we are working diligently in all areas that have outages, our top priority last night and this morning in the Ithaca area has been responding to downed-wires incidents to make the situations safe,” said Mark S. Lynch, president and CEO of NYSEG and RG&E. “Since daylight we have been gathering detailed damage information so we can develop a comprehensive plan to ensure that we restore power safely and as quickly as possible.”
NYSEG has already located numerous instances of damage to its Ithaca-area transmission system that is the backbone of the local electricity delivery system. The company took a close look at the transmission system from a helicopter early this morning and special equipment is en route to assist with repairs.
Restoring Power Following Major Storms
NYSEG first repairs the backbone of the electricity system – transmission lines and substations – that bring electricity to the local distribution system that serves our customers. The company then makes any necessary repairs to the distribution system that includes the poles and power lines along streets and roads, focusing first on those circuits where power can be restored to the largest number of customers. As part of this process, NYSEG takes into account the needs of hospitals, nursing homes, fire and police stations, as well as any other critical infrastructure.
During a Power Interruption
NYSEG Offers the Following Reminders:
- 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. The company’s telephone system lets callers report the problem, helps crews respond quickly and efficiently, and provides customers with power interruption updates. Because many people may be trying to reach NYSEG during a power interruption, phone lines may be busy. Anyone who has access to a working computer during a power interruption can also report the interruption online at nyseg.com.
- Listen to a battery-powered radio for weather and power restoration updates.
- Turn off major appliances (electric water heaters, refrigerators and freezers) and sensitive electronic equipment (TVs, VCRs, DVD players, computers, audio equipment) to prevent overloading and possible damage when power is restored. Turning off this equipment may mean unplugging it, turning off a circuit breaker or removing a fuse for the circuit that provides power to this equipment. Leave one light switch “on” to know when power has been restored.
- Don’t use a natural gas or propane range to heat your home.
- Never use outdoor grills or stoves inside.
- 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.
After Power Is Restored
- 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.
- Turn on appliances and sensitive electronic equipment one at a time to avoid overloading circuits.
- Replenish emergency supplies used during the storm.