Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation is readying crews and advising customers to prepare for potentially severe winter weather that is expected to move through the region starting on Monday and continuing through Wednesday. Forecasts are calling for significant accumulations of heavy, wet snow coupled with damaging wind gusts of up to 40 miles per hour. Snow accumulations are expected exceed one foot in areas of higher elevation. These conditions could cause trees and tree limbs to fall onto power lines and cause service interruptions.
“There remains degree of uncertainty regarding the path of the latest winter storm and the potential impacts it could have on our region, but we are monitoring conditions and are prepared to respond if outages do occur,” said Ryan Hawthorne, Vice President of Electric Engineering and Operations at Central Hudson. “We have a field force of more than 430 line and line clearance workers that includes internal crews, contractors and mutual assistance to help expedite repairs if the need arises.”
Central Hudson prepares for storms by preparing crews, stocking supplies and materials, communicating with community leaders and following an approved storm plan. Central Hudson also takes proactive steps before storms strike to minimize service interruptions, including enhanced vegetation management and danger tree removals, and regular maintenance and upgrades to power lines serving communities.
Residents are advised to stay at least 30 feet away from downed power lines and remember that lines may be entangled and hidden in fallen trees and limbs. Residents should also assume all downed lines are live.
Customers can prepare for the storm and potential electric service interruptions by:
- Paying attention to weather advisories, storm outage updates and/or shelter information. Visit hudsonvalleyweather.com for the latest forecast information.
- Charging electronic devices in order to connect with Storm Central, Central Hudson’s outage information and reporting site;
- Keeping handy a flashlight and fresh batteries;
- Having a battery-powered radio to remain informed of restoration efforts;
- Confirming adequate packaged or canned foods that require no refrigeration or cooking;
- Avoiding opening a refrigerator unnecessarily during outages, so that food lasts longer, an unopened refrigerator can keep food fresh for 24 hours;
- Having a non-electric can opener;
- Keeping an emergency supply of bottled water on hand for drinking and washing; and
- Filling bathtubs with water as added reserves.
Residents are advised to keep safety in mind, particularly during power interruptions:
- Never use outdoor gas or charcoal grills indoors, as they pose a fire hazard and over time can give off carbon monoxide gas;
- Beware of fallen trees and limbs, and use caution when traveling;
- Avoid the use of candles for illumination due to fire hazards;
- Follow the manufacturer’s safety instructions on the use of emergency generators, and be sure to shut off the main breaker when in use and operate the units outdoors;
- Operate cars and motor vehicles outdoors only, and never inside the garage; and
- Avoid travel along roadways as hazardous conditions may cause driving accidents, including those involving utility poles which may cause power interruptions.
Customers can stay informed of storm and restoration conditions in the following ways:
- By text messaging: Customers should enroll in Central Hudson’s Texting Program to use text messaging to report their power condition and to obtain repair status. To enroll, visit CentralHudson.com/Alerts or text REG to 236483;
- On the Web: Visit www.CentralHudson.com/Storms to report outages and obtain restoration updates;
- Mobile App: A free Central Hudson mobile application is available for Android and Apple devices at www.CentralHudson.com/mobileapp;
- Through social media: “Like” Central Hudson on Facebook (Facebook.com/CentralHudson) and “Follow” on Twitter (Twitter.com/CentralHudson); and
- By phone: Call the Central Hudson PowerLine at (845) 452-2700 or 1-800-527-2714, and please use the automated system to report or monitor your power condition.
- If a member of your household needs electricity to operate life sustaining equipment, please contact customer service at (845) 452-2700.
More information on preparing for storms and emergencies and communicating with Central Hudson is available at www.CentralHudson.com; for information regarding electric and natural gas safety, visit www.CentralHudson.com/Safety.