PEARL RIVER – To help its customers cope with today’s thunderstorms that are expected to drench the region with 1-3 inches of rain, O&R is providing some practical tips to better weather the storm.
Thunderstorms can cause tree and power line damage, resulting in electric service interruptions. O&R crews are prepared to repair damage and restore service as needed through the duration of the storm.
For safety’s sake, don’t touch or approach any downed wire. Assume the downed wire is energized and dangerous. Do not approach them, try to move them or touch them with any object. Be mindful that downed wires can be hidden from view by tree limbs, leaves or standing water.
Periods of rain and thunderstorms will dominate the forecast today. Winds are expected to range from 10-25 mph, gusting to 35 mph. Rainfall may be heavy at times with 1-3 inches possible between noon and 11 p.m. Thunderstorms could become severe in isolated areas.
O&R personnel have been instructed to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and practice social distancing with each other and members of the public when responding to emergency calls. That’s an attempt to keep everyone safe from COVID-19. O&R also asks that members of the public remain a safe social distance from O&R crews, work sites and trucks. If you must speak to the crews, please maintain a social distance of at least six feet so that everyone’s health is protected.
There are several ways customers can report outages and check service restoration status:
- Go to the O&R website from any computer or web-enabled mobile device;
- Use the O&R mobile app from your iPhone, iPad or Android device;
- Text “OUT” to 69678 (myORU); or
- Call Customer Assistance at 1-877-434-4100
The following video describes the typical storm repair and power restoration process: https://youtu.be/JeGU8ID4_m0
To help its customers prepare to weather a storm, O&R offers more tips:
- Maintain a distance of at least 50 feet from downed wires and anything they are in contact with including puddles of water and fences. Supervise your children so that they are not in the vicinity and keep pets on a leash or otherwise secure.
- If a fallen wire is draped over a car, do not approach the car or make rescue attempts. Remain a safe distance away and try to keep the occupant of the vehicle calm. If possible, emergency personnel should handle the situation.
- Pole-top transformers — those small grey-colored metal drums attached to the wires at the tops of most utility poles — also should be avoided when they have been knocked to the ground.
- Portable generators pose a serious hazard if used improperly. They should be used and installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions. A wrong connection could feed electricity back through the lines and endanger our repair crews. Never plug a generator into a wall unit, use it indoors or set it up outdoors near open home windows or air-handling vents.
- Have emergency equipment within reach — portable radio, flashlights, spare batteries, first aid kit, cell phone and important medications
- Remember: if the base station of your cordless phone plugs into the wall, your phone will be unusable during a power outage.
- If you experience a power outage, don’t assume that O&R automatically knows about it or that someone else will report it.