Significant progress was made overnight in restoring electric service following a fast moving storm that brought strong wind gusts throughout the Mid-Hudson Valley on Thursday evening, toppling limbs and trees onto power lines. Power was initially interrupted to more than 17,000 customers of Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp., with the majority of outages in northern and eastern Dutchess County and Greene County. Overnight, service was restored to approxmately 15,000 customers, as utility crews repaired damaged lines and poles. As of 8 a.m. today, nearly 80 damage locations are reported and approximately 2,700 customers of Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation are without electric service, the majority of which are located in Dutchess County.
“More than 150 electric line, tree clearing and support personnel are working to repair power outages,” said Ryan Hawthorne, Assistant Vice President of Electric Engineering and Operations at Central Hudson. “We expect service restorations to be largely completed in the Dutchess County area by 10 p.m. tonight, and for all other areas by 6 p.m. today. The possibility of additional storms today could slow progress and cause additional power outages.
“For the safety of the public and utility personnel, we are following CDC guidelines,” said Hawthorne. “Our electric line crews and support staff are practicing social distancing when addressing any emergency, and we will be staging crews to avoid clustering of personnel,” he said. “We remain committed to restoring power as quickly and safely as possible under these conditions.”
Hawthorne stressed that residents should stay at least 30 feet away from downed power lines, and to remember that lines may be entangled and hidden in fallen trees and limbs. “Assume all downed lines are live, and keep a wide distance from fallen trees and limbs,” he said. As many families and children are home, Hawthorne urged residents to watch for and keep themselves, families and neighbors away from these hazards. Motorists should also be aware of the potential for downed limbs and power lines that may block roadways, and should never attempt to drive over or around downed power lines.
Hawthorne urged customers to keep safety in mind, particularly during power interruptions:
- Stay at least 30 feet away from downed power lines, and remember that lines may be entangled and hidden in fallen trees. Assume all downed lines are live;
- 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 or 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 CentralHudson.com/Storms to report outages and obtain restoration updates;
- Via smart phones: A mobile version of the Central Hudson’s website can be accessed by web-enabled cell phones and mobile devices at https://mobile.CenHud.com. Free Central Hudson mobile applications for Android and Apple and are also available by logging onto CentralHudson.com/mobileapp;
- Through social media: “Like” Central Hudson on Facebook (com/ CentralHudson) and “Follow” on Twitter (www.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.
As weather reports forecast the possibility of additional thunderstorms today, customers can be prepare for the potential of electric service interruptions by:
- Paying attention to weather advisories, storm outage updates and/or shelter information;
- Charging electronic devices in order to connect with https://StormCentral.CenHud.com;
- 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;
- 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.
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.
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