Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. advises customers to prepare for heavy rains and potentially damaging winds that may cause service interruptions on Thursday night into Friday. Weather forecasts currently predict wind gusts of between 30 and 50 miles per hour, and possibly greater at higher elevations, which could cause trees and limbs to fall onto powerlines.
“We know reliable electrical service is vital to our customers, especially during the Christmas holiday and at a time when we’re also navigating the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Ryan Hawthorne, Assistant Vice President of Electric Engineering and Operations at Central Hudson. “Our employees are prepared to work through the holiday, we have secured additional line crews and we are maintaining regular contact with local emergency responders. If outages occur, we will be ready to address them as efficiently and safely as possible.”
Current forecasts predict that the majority of Central Hudson’s service territory could see wind gusts of 30-40 mph with the potential for gusts of 50 mph or more at higher elevations. Heavy rainfall is expected as well with the potential for 1.5 to 3 inches in some areas. This, coupled with melting snow, could cause flooding in some areas.
Hawthorne reminded customers that all electric line crews and support staff are practicing social distancing in an effort to keep employees and communities safe.
Residents are also 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;
- Charging electronic devices in order to connect with Storm Central;
- 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.
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 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 (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.