Orange and Rockland Utilities continues restoration work

PEARL RIVER – Hundreds of Orange and Rockland company and contractor overhead line technicians, tree removal experts, mutual aid workers and their crews are fanning out through O&R’s service area to continue repairing damage and restoring power to the remaining 17,200 of its  customers who are still without power as a result of Tuesday’s destructive tropical storm.

Approximately 220,000 customers’ power was knocked out by the storm’s high winds and heavy rains.

Individual service restoration times are now posted on O&R’s outage map. That more granular information will allow affected customers to better plan their daily lives as they await service restoration.

Of the six counties served by O&R and its New Jersey affiliate, Rockland Electric Company, Sussex County, N.J. saw the final number of its customer electric outages returned to service last night. Here’s the status of restoration work in the five other counties served by O&R: Bergen, 85%; Orange, 94%; Passaic, 83%; Rockland, 94%; and Sullivan, 98%.

The field crews are supported by O&R employees and contractors working around the clock in customer service, damage assessment, site safety and all the other O&R storm response groups during this all-hands emergency response.

Saturday morning O&R dispatched crews to Clarkstown, Congers, Airmont, Montebello, Orangetown, Chestnut Ridge, Upper Saddle River, Allendale, Mahwah, Demarest, Closter, Franklin Lakes, Ramsey, Cresskill, Demarest, Montvale and Old Tappan.

More crews also were sent to make repairs and restore service in West Milford, Tuxedo, Highland Falls, Blooming Grove, Monroe, Harriman, Greenwood Lake, Warwick, Goshen, Chester and Pine Island.

And, crews were working in Crawford, Greenville, Westbrookville, Mamakating, Deerpark, Wallkill, Wawayanda, Bloomingburg and Port Jervis

Many of these crews are encountering extensive damage to O&R equipment with multiple poles and hundreds of feet of wire on the ground. At these labor-intensive locations, lengthy reconstruction not rapid repair is required.

O&R also today is:

  • Deploying over 180 tree removal experts to clear downed trees from damage locations to open roadways and prepare the area for electric service repair.
  • Restoring power to 175 essential service locations and 19 schools.
  • Aiding road opening work on 89 storm-closed roads.

 Here are the latest outage numbers as of 1:30 p.m. For the most up-to-date outage information, please go to O&R’s Outage Map:

NEW YORK — 7,385

Rockland:  4,139

Orange:      3,136

Sullivan:        104

 NEW JERSEY — 7,750

 Bergen:  6,135

Passaic    1,615

If you experience a power outage, don’t assume that O&R automatically knows about it. You can report it and check to see when your lights will be back on through:

  • At from any computer or web-based mobile device.
  • O&R mobile app from your iPhone, iPad or Android device — download via Apple Store or Google Play.
  • Text messaging by texting “OUT” to 69678 (myORU) or
  • Call 1-877-434-4100.

 The following video describes the typical storm repair and power restoration process:

Be Safe

As its storm recovery work continues, O&R reminds its customers about the safety risks associated with using generators to provide emergency power to homes. 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 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.

O&R also renews its warning about staying clear of downed electric wires. Don’t go near any downed wire. Assume it is energized and dangerous. Call O&R immediately toll-free at 1-877-434-4100. Depending on the situation, you may also want to call your local police to divert traffic until an O&R crew arrives.

Important Safety 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 and 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.
  • Have emergency equipment within reach – portable radio, flashlights, spare batteries, first aid kit, cell phone and important medications. Keep O&R’s toll-free number 1-877-434-4100 near the phone to report power outages.
  • Remember: if the base station of your cordless phone plugs into the wall, your phone will be unusable during a power outage.

As an added safety precaution, O&R personnel have been instructed to practice social distancing with each other and members of the public when responding to emergency calls to keep everyone safe from the coronavirus. O&R asks members of the public to maintain appropriate social distancing when they encounter O&R employees working in the field, to provide for mutual safety.

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