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Con Edison Media Relations
For Immediate Release: September 19, 2010
5:30 p.m.

CON EDISON'S CLOSING IN ON FULL CUSTOMER RESTORATION FOLLOWING STORM

NEW YORK – Con Edison is in the final stretch of the customer restoration that began after last Thursday’s destructive rain and windstorm and expects to meet its goal of having all customers back in lights by late tonight.
 
The company, with an assist from neighboring utilities, has restored service to more than 44,700 of the approximately 45,000 customers who lost power when a storm carrying two tornadoes and driving rain smacked Queens and other parts of the service area.

Crews will remain in the streets tonight until the approximately 300 customers in Queens who are still out of power due to the storm are restored. Crews will continue to work the next few days and nights to repair all the other remaining storm-related damage to our overhead system.

The storm caused substantial damage to Con Edison’s overhead electrical system. Winds of up to 125 miles per hour drove trees into power lines, poles and other equipment. The damage was particularly severe in Bayside, Flushing, Jamaica, Maspeth, Middle Village, and Rego Park.

“Recovering from tornadoes is something you'd expect to do in Kansas, not New York City,” said Craig S. Ivey, the president of Con Edison. “But we mobilized quickly, requested aid from other utilities and put hundreds of crews in the streets around the clock. We thank our crews, our fellow utilities and city agencies for their great work, as well as our customers for their patience.”

Though the restoration effort is coming to completion, Con Edison urges any customers who are still experiencing service problems to call 1-800-75CONED (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.

Con Edison will continue to distribute dry ice to customers until 6 p.m. today. The distribution is taking place at Crocheron Park at 215th Place and 33rd Road in Bayside. There is also a customer service van and personnel at the location to answer questions.

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.

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, are restored as crews become available.

Safety remains a concern. Con Edison puts the safety of the public and its own employees above everything else during a restoration campaign. The company offers the following storm 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. 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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