POUGHKEEPSIE – Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation is advising local residents to be prepared for a strong frontal system that may bring rain, lightning and potentially powerful wind gusts later today beginning in the late afternoon to early evening. These conditions could cause hazardous conditions and electric service interruptions.
“Forecasts predict a period of storms arriving later today, bringing lightning and strong wind gusts ranging from 40 to possibly 60 miles per hour,” said Ryan Hawthorne, Assistant Vice President of Electric Engineering and Operations at Central Hudson. “These conditions could topple trees and damage the electric system, causing interruptions to electric service. We’re closely monitoring the weather and are prepared to respond in the event of storm damage and power outages.
“In this current environment, our electric line crews and support staff are practicing social distancing when addressing emergencies,” said Hawthorne. “We also realize many residents are at home and depend on electric service for common household uses and to stay connected. In the event of power outages, we are prepared and committed to restoring power as quickly and safely as possible.
“Our customers are also advised to prepare and take precautions,” Hawthorne continued. He stressed that residents should stay at least 30 feet away from downed power lines, and to remember that lines may be entangled and hidden in fallen trees and limbs. “Assume all downed lines are live, and keep a wide distance from fallen trees and limbs,” he said. As many families and children remain at home, Hawthorne urged residents to watch for and keep themselves, families and neighbors away from these hazards. Motorists should also be aware of the potential for downed limbs and power lines that may block roadways, and should never attempt to drive over or around downed power lines.
Hawthorne recommended ways in which customers can prepare for the storm and potential electric service interruptions by:
- Paying attention to weather advisories, storm outage updates and/or shelter information;
- Charging electronic devices in order to connect with https://StormCentral.CenHud.com;
- Keeping handy a flashlight and fresh batteries;
- Having a battery-powered radio to remain informed of restoration efforts;
- Confirming adequate packaged or canned foods that require no refrigeration or cooking;
- Avoiding opening a refrigerator unnecessarily during outages, so that food lasts longer;
- Having a non-electric can opener;
- Keeping an emergency supply of bottled water on hand for drinking and washing; and
- Filling bathtubs with water as added reserves.
Hawthorne urged customers to keep safety in mind, particularly during power interruptions:
- Stay at least 30 feet away from downed power lines, and remember that lines may be entangled and hidden in fallen trees. Assume all downed lines are live;
- Never use outdoor gas or charcoal grills indoors, as they pose a fire hazard and over time can give off carbon monoxide gas;
- Beware of fallen trees and limbs, and use caution or traveling;
- Avoid the use of candles for illumination due to fire hazards;
- Follow the manufacturer’s safety instructions on the use of emergency generators, and be sure to shut off the main breaker when in use and operate the units outdoors;
- Operate cars and motor vehicles outdoors only, and never inside the garage; and
- Avoid travel along roadways as hazardous conditions may cause driving accidents, including those involving utility poles which may cause power interruptions.