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Con Edison Media Relations
For Immediate Release: March 14, 2010
8:00 a.m.

CON EDISON WORKING TO RESTORE CUSTOMERS AFFECTED BY WIND & RAIN STORM

NEW YORK -- Con Edison crews are working around the clock and against treacherous conditions to address downed wires and road closures as well as to restore power to customers affected by the powerful, slow-moving wind and rain storm that continues to pound the region.

The company will get mutual aid from utilities in several states, including Ohio, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, starting today. The company also expects that it will be in a better position to assess and repair damage once the storm conditions become less severe. To date, the strong winds have made it unsafe in many instances for Con Edison workers to go up in bucket trucks, and felled trees have made many roads impassable.

Even with the efforts by Con Edison and the utilities providing mutual aid, the total restoration effort will continue through the week.

About 167,000 customers have been affected by the storm in the Con Edison service area in New York City and Westchester County.  Currently, 138,000 are without power.  Of that number, 72,000 are in Westchester County, 32,000 on Staten Island, and a total of 34,000 in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. The company has restored power to about 29,000 customers in its service territory.

Fierce winds and heavy rain have driven trees into power lines and knocked out electricity.  Winds remain strong and further tree damage and outages are possible.
Con Edison has additional customer service representatives, electrical and construction crews, along with tree-clearing crews working around the clock to respond to customers and power outages that may occur.

Customers are urged to call Con Edison immediately to report any outages at 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633). Customers can also report power interruptions or service problems as well as view service restoration information online at www.conEd.com and on their cell phones and PDAs.  When reporting an outage, customers should have their Con Edison account number available, if possible, and report whether their neighbors also have lost power.

In the event of severe outages, primary distribution feeders are restored first, with the highest priority given to lines that supply the most customers out of service.  Next, the crews restore secondary facilities, such as transformers and secondary cables, again with highest priority given to lines supplying the most customers out of service.  Individual services, lines serving a single home, will be restored as crews become available.

Con Edison offers the following tips to prepare for a storm:

  • If you see downed electrical wires, do not go near them.  Treat all downed wires as if they are live.  Never attempt to move or touch them with any object.  Be mindful that downed wires can be hidden from view by tree limbs, leaves or water.  Report all downed wires to Con Edison and your local police department immediately.  If a power line falls on your car while you’re in it, stay inside the vehicle and wait for emergency personnel.
  • If your power goes out, turn off all lights and appliances to prevent overloaded circuits when power is restored.  Leave at least one light switch in the on position to alert you when power has been restored.
  • Check to make sure your flashlights and any battery-operated radios or televisions are in working order. Use candles and oil lamps with care.  Also, make sure you have a supply of extra batteries.  Weather updates and news on restorations of electrical service can be heard on most local radio and television stations.
  • Avoid opening your freezer to see if food is still frozen.  Every time you open the door, room-temperature air enters and speeds the thawing process.  Most fully loaded freezers will keep food frozen for approximately 36 to 48 hours; half-full freezers will keep food frozen for approximately 24 hours.

The company is maintaining close contact with the New York City Office of Emergency Management and the Westchester County Department of Emergency Services to coordinate storm response as necessary.

 

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