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Con Edison Media Relations
For Immediate Release: September 18, 2010
4:30 p.m.

Company Also Distributing Dry Ice in Queens

NEW YORK – Con Edison's aggressive effort to restore power following Thursday's dual-tornado storm has paid off with more than 38,000 customers back in service out of the 45,000 who were affected.

By tonight, the company expects to have restored power to about 95 percent of the customers who lost power when the storm rampaged through Queens and other areas. Con Edison is on pace to meet its goal of restoring all customers by 11 p.m. Sunday.

The storm, which the National Weather Service says carried two tornadoes and winds up to 125 miles per hour, uprooted trees and sent them toppling into power lines. The damage was particularly severe in Bayside, Flushing, Jamaica, Maspeth, Middle Village, and Rego Park.

Crews have worked around the clock replacing cable, poles, transformers and other equipment. The company has more than 300 crews in the streets today. Utility crews from Boston, Albany, Connecticut, Long Island and other areas have provided an assist to crews from Con Edison and its sister company, Orange & Rockland Utilities Inc.

 At 4:30 p.m., the crews were working to restore the approximately 7,000 customers still out of power.

The company also announced a change in one of its dry ice distribution locations.

The dry ice locations are now Cunningham Park by Union Turnpike and 195th Street in Fresh Meadows; Juniper Valley Park at Juniper Boulevard South and 80th  Street in Middle Village; and near Kissena Park at Kissena Boulevard and Quince Avenue in Flushing. There is a customer service van and personnel at each location to answer questions. Dry ice distribution will continue until 8 p.m. By mid-afternoon, Con Edison had distributed more than 950 bags of dry ice.

The company is no longer distributing dry ice at Memorial Park in Flushing.

Instructions for the safe handling and disposal of dry ice are printed on the bags. Dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide and should be used only in well-ventilated areas. Keep children and pets safely away.

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 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.

The safety of the public and its employees is Con Edison's top priority during a restoration. The company offers the following safety tips:

  • 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 other city agencies to coordinate storm response as necessary.

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