Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. is advising customers to be prepared for the possibility of thunderstorms this afternoon that could bring damaging wind gusts and could cause interruptions to electric service. Current forecasts are calling for potential wind gusts of up to 55 miles per hour in some areas that could break limbs and topple trees onto power lines.
"We are closely monitoring conditions and are ready to deploy crews if outages do occur," said Ryan Hawthorne, Vice President of Electric Engineering and Operations at Central Hudson. "Our customers, too, are also advised to take precautions and exercise caution as strong wind gusts and thunderstorms can create hazardous conditions ."
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. Visit hudsonvalleyweather.com for the latest forecast 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.
- 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.