Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation advises local residents to be prepared for the potential of severe weather today and tonight. Weather forecasts predict a line of thunderstorms developing late this afternoon and evening, which could bring possible wind gusts of up to 50 miles per hour. These conditions could cause limbs and trees to fall onto power lines.
"Our customers should be prepared for the possibility of thunderstorms and strong, gusty winds today," said Ryan Hawthorne, Assistant Vice President of Electric Engineering and Operations. “We are prepared to respond in the event of power interruptions by readying equipment and personnel, and we are maintaining contact with local emergency responders.
“In this current environment, our electric line crews and support staff are practicing social distancing to keep our employees and the public safe, and we also realize many of our customers are at home and rely on electric service for essential services,” he said. “In the event of power outages, we are committed to restoring electric service as quickly and safely as possible.”
Hawthorne cautioned residents 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. “Assume all downed lines are live and keep a wide distance from fallen trees and limbs,” he said.
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 recommended ways in which customers can prepare for the storm and potential 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.
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 (www.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.
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.