May 16, 2018 a.m.
Repairs, Damage Assessment Continue in Wake of Damaging Storm
Customers strongly advised to stay away from downed power lines
Utility repair crews and damage assessment teams from Central Hudson Gas & Electric continue to address power outages and survey damage locations. As of 7 a.m., 65,000 customers remain without electric service as a result of a powerful frontal system that had impacted the region with strong winds, hail and lightning. Winds of 50 miles per hour and higher were reported in Dutchess, Orange and Putnam counties, with and gusts as high as 78 miles per hour in southern Dutchess County. Hail was reported in Ulster County and approximately 1,000 lighting strikes per hour were recorded during the height of the storm.
Remaining power outages include approximately 20,800 in Dutchess County, 36,000 in Orange County, 4,700 in Putnam County and 3,800 in Ulster County. The most heavily impacted areas are reported in the southern portions of Central Hudson’s service territory, where significant tree damage blocked roads, broke utility poles and brought down power lines. Nineteen distribution circuits and two transmission lines are locked out, and numerous smaller outages are reported. In all, nearly 400 individual damage locations must be addressed.
Residents are urged to stay away from all downed lines. Central Hudson teams are working with municipal and county emergency response personnel to clear roads, restore traffic signals and guard downed lines. Motorists are asked to please obey detours so that repairs can be safely made.
Central Hudson crews and damage assessment teams continue to address power outages and survey damage locations. Approximately 185 line workers together with nearly 180 tree personnel are clearing roads and restoring power. Additionally, more than 270 mutual aid line workers are anticipated to arrive throughout the day. Central Hudson anticipates restoration work will last through Thursday and potentially later, with the focus today on clearing roads.
“This highly destructive storm caused widespread tree damage in the most severely impacted areas,” said Charles A. Freni, Senior Vice President of Customer Services and Transmission & Distribution. “We urge residents to stay at least 30 feet away from downed lines, and to assume all lines are live. Be aware of lines that may be entangled in fallen trees.” Customers may report downed lines by contacting Central Hudson or calling 911.
Estimated restoration times for impacted areas are being developed as information from damage assessment and repair crews are reported. Information on when power will be restored will become available later today and tomorrow, and may change as work progresses and new cases of damage are uncovered.
The American Red Cross has established a shelter at the Fishkill Town Hall in Dutchess County, 807 Route 52, Fishkill, and is providing centralized case management for impacted families.
Customers are urged to report their power condition and to stay informed of storm and restoration status 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 www.CentralHudson.com/Alerts or text REG to 236483;
- On the Web: Visitwww.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 ontowww.CentralHudson.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 HudsonPowerLine at (845) 452-2700 or 1-800-527-2714, and use the automated system or speak to a representative to report or monitor your power condition.
Freni also urged customers to keep safety in mind. “Remember to follow the manufacturer’s safety instructions on the use of emergency generators, be sure to shut off the main breaker when in use and always operate the units outdoors,” Freni said. He also advised customers never use outdoor gas or charcoal grills indoors, as they pose a fire hazard and over time can give off deadly carbon monoxide gas. Other safety measures include the following:
- 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 and report downed lines to Central Hudson or call 911.
- Beware of fallen trees and limbs, and use caution or traveling;
- Avoid the use of candles for illumination due to fire hazards;
- Know how to open garage doors manually, if using a remote-control door opener.
- 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
- Never use outdoor gas or charcoal grills indoors, as they pose a fire hazard and over time can give off deadly carbon monoxide gas.
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.