Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. repair crews are working throughout the service area to restore power to customers after heavy rains and wind gusts of more than 50 miles per hour in some areas toppled limbs and trees, causing widespread outages. More than 36,000 homes and businesses within Central Hudson’s service area and nearly 300,000 customers in the northeast were impacted by the storm. As of 9:00 a.m., approximately 32,350 are without power within Central Hudson’s territory with the majority of outages located in Dutchess and Ulster counties:
- Albany County – 115
- Columbia County – 300
- Dutchess County – 14,095
- Greene County – 1,000
- Orange County – 5,930
- Putnam County – 1,100
- Ulster County – 11,230
“Restoring power safely and efficiently to our customers who are celebrating Christmas while navigating challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic is our priority today,” said Ryan Hawthorne, Assistant Vice President of Electric Engineering and Operations. “We have a compliment of 320 line and tree professionals working to restore our customers’ power with 26 more line workers from Vermont expected to arrive later today. Yesterday, mutual aid assistance from Michigan, Indiana and Iowa arrived, and we have retained our local contractors to assist in the repair of nearly 650 damage locations. In addition, hundreds of employees are working in support roles throughout the holiday to expedite restorations. We aim to restore power to approximately half of our customers by end of day Friday.” Customers may visit CentralHudson.com/Storms to report or obtain restoration status for their outage. Information will be updated as damage assessment crews continue their work.
Wind advisories remain in effect in portions of the service area until 1 p.m. which could create additional outages. Repairs are expected to continue overnight and on Saturday.
“I want to thank all of our state and local municipal leaders and first responders who are working with us throughout the holiday to make repairs,” Hawthorne added.
Central Hudson will be distributing dry ice on Friday from Noon to 5 p.m. at the following locations:
- Home Depot, Fishkill – 450 Route 9, Fishkill, NY 12524
- Rosendale Recreation Center – 1055 Route 32, Rosendale, NY 12472
The rain, coupled with snow melt, caused areas of flooding as well. Heavy flooding may undermine natural gas lines and customers are urged to report gas odors they may detect by doing the following:
- STOP what they are doing. Do not light or use a match. Do not turn lights on or off or use a flashlight, cell phone or telephone. Do not turn on any other appliance or electric/electronic device and do not flush or run water.
- GO outside immediately.
- LET US KNOW by calling our gas odor hotline at 1-800-942-8274, or call 911.
“Basements, too, may become flooded, and residents should be especially cautious before entering a flooded basement or crawlspace.” He explained that electrical panels or gas piping may become compromised and create indoor hazards. “If in doubt, contact the local police, fire department or emergency responder,” Hawthorne said.
Residents are also advised to exercise an abundance of caution around downed power lines by staying at least 30 feet away, and remember that downed lines can become entangled and hidden in fallen limbs. Residents should also remember to assume any downed power lines are live. Also, he advised that customer never drive through standing water on roadways.
Hawthorne reminded residents 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 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 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.
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.