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Storm Isaias Outage is Second Largest in Con Edison's Long History

257,000 Customers Out Surpasses Hurricane Irene; Company Focuses on Safe Restoration

Storm Isaias’s rampage through the New York City area lasted just a few hours, but caused significant damage to Con Edison’s overhead electric-delivery system.

The storm’s gusting winds shoved trees and branches onto power lines, bringing those lines and other equipment down and leaving 257,000 customers out of power. The destruction surpassed Hurricane Irene, which caused 204,000 customer outages in August 2011.

The record for storm-related outages is 1.1 million caused by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 and a Nor’easter that struck the next week.

Con Edison cautions everyone to stay away from downed wires. Do not assume they are de-energized. They may be live.

The company has already restored service to more than 48,000 customers. But it is clear the restoration of all customers will take multiple days.

Westchester County has about 97,000 customers out of service. In Queens, about 45,000 customers are out of service and in Brooklyn 16,000. In Staten Island, 29,000 customers are without service and in the Bronx 23,000.

In Westchester, the hardest-hit communities include: Yonkers, New Rochelle, Mount Vernon, Rye, Cortlandt, New Castle and others.

The company has brought in 220 additional line workers to restore service and has another 100 scheduled to begin work Wednesday. Including tree trimmers and other workers, the company will have brought in more than 500 additional personnel to help with the arduous task of replacing poles, wires, transformers and other equipment.

Con Edison has begun to assess the damage from the storm and has begun a 24-7 effort to get customers back in service. Once the company has estimated times of restoration for customers, the company will share those times via its website and the media. Con Edison will work with local public works crews to clear hundreds of roads blocked by fallen trees and branches. Crews must de-energize wires that are entangled in the trees before they can cut the wires and have the trees removed.

Crews will give priority to making repairs that will provide power to the most customers quickly, then restore smaller groups and individual customers.

Con Edison sent text messages to customers in all its service areas except Manhattan, where the electric system is totally underground. The messages remind customers to be prepared and to report an outage by simply replying OUT to the text.

Customers can sign up for text alerts at conEd.com/text. Customers can report outages and check restoration status at conEd.com/reportoutage,or with Con Edison’s mobile app for iOS or Android devices, or by calling 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633).

Customers who report outages will receive updates from Con Edison with their estimated restoration times as they become available. Information on outages and restoration times is also available at the Con Edison outage map.

Con Edison personnel continue to practice social distancing to keep everyone safe from the coronavirus. Con Edison is following the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines during the health emergency.

Con Edison offers the following storm tips:

  • Do not go near downed wires. Treat all downed wires as if they are live. Never attempt to move them or touch them with your hands of any object. Be mindful that downed wires can be hidden from view by snow, 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, disconnect or turn off appliances that would otherwise turn on automatically when service is restored. If several appliances start up at once, the electric circuits may overload.
  • Check to make sure your flashlights and any battery-operated radios or televisions are in working order. 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.
  • For more storm tips and preparation, go to www.conEd.com

Customers can follow Con Edison on Twitter or like us on Facebook for general outage updates, safety tips and storm preparation information. In addition, the company is in close contact with the New York City Emergency Management and the Westchester County Department of Emergency Services to coordinate storm response if needed.

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