Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation is readying crews and advising customers to prepare for the potential of severe weather that could have an impact in the region this weekend.
Current forecasts are calling for moderate winds and rain in the Mid-Hudson Valley beginning Saturday evening and Sunday. These conditions could worsen if the path of Henri, which is expected to strengthen to a Hurricane before reaching the Northeast, shifts to the west. A shift westward could bring stronger winds and heavier rain to the region. Severe weather could break tree limbs and topple trees onto power lines and cause electric service interruptions.
"We are closely monitoring weather conditions and our crews are prepared to respond if outages do occur," said Ryan Hawthorne, Vice President of Electric Engineering and Operations at Central Hudson. “More than 100 mutual aid personnel are in route from outside our area to assist in system repairs and service restorations as needed. We also ask residents to exercise extra caution as severe weather can create hazardous conditions."
Central Hudson prepares for storms by readying crews, stocking supplies and materials, communicating with customers and 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 4 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 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 www.cenhud.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.
- 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.