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Con Edison Media Relations
For Immediate Release: August 28, 2011
7:00 a.m.

Hurricane Irene Update

HIGH WINDS KNOCK OUT POWER TO 72,000 CON EDISON CUSTOMERS

NEW YORK – Con Edison said today that 72,000 customers in New York City and Westchester County have lost electrical service because of severe winds resulting from Hurricane Irene.  As the weather system continues to move toward New York, the number of affected customers is expected to grow.

The hurricane’s high winds also have toppled trees and power lines throughout the company’s service area, most extensively in Queens, where an estimated 25,000 customers are without power.

As of 7 a.m., customer outages on Staten Island have reached more than 16,000; in Brooklyn, 6,000 are out of power; and the Bronx is reporting 4,500. There are minimal outages in Manhattan.  There are more than 16,000 out of power in Westchester County.

The company is continuing to monitor potential flooding conditions that could damage electrical equipment in lower Manhattan and in the Brighton Beach area of Brooklyn.

Company crews are assessing damage and Con Edison has secured the support of 400 crews from across the country to help with the repairs. Company crews will be able to restore customers safely after the storm’s heavy winds and rain subside. 

Customers can 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.  They may also call Con Edison at 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633). When reporting an outage, customers should have their Con Edison account number available, if possible, and report whether their neighbors also have lost power.

The company continues to work closely with the city throughout the storm.  The following link to the New York City Office of Emergency Management’s hurricane preparedness Web site provides information about what to do in the event of a hurricane, as well as providing evacuation and shelter information: http://www.nyc.gov/html/oem/html/ready/hurricane_guide.shtml.

Con Edison offers the following safety tips:

  • Exercise extreme caution when entering flooded basements. Rising water that comes into contact with energized electrical equipment can create hazardous conditions that present a risk of serious injury.
  • 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 or leaves.
  • Avoid standing water or puddles: there could be downed wires in them that you can’t see.
  • 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 lights and unplug appliances to prevent overloaded circuits when power is restored.
  • When reporting an outage, have your Con Edison account number available, if possible, and report whether your neighbors have also lost power. 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 power outages 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.
  • If you believe that you smell gas, you should report any possible gas leaks to the company and we will respond. If the city or county declares a state of emergency, or if conditions do not allow for a safe response by company personnel, we might be prevented from responding. In that event, you should shut off all appliances and evacuate to a safe location until such time as we can respond safely.

Con Edison will provide updates to affected customers both directly and through the media as the situation warrants. In addition, important information will also be posted on the company’s Web site, www.coned.com. The company is in constant communication with the New York City Office of Emergency Management and the Westchester County Department of Emergency Services.


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