Strong winds, heavy rain expected


PEARL RIVER – Orange & Rockland Utilities has declared a storm watch and began ramping up its emergency response team for deployment Monday morning to make repairs and restore electric service as needed.

Strong gusty winds, some possibly reaching 55 mph, are expected to rip through the region beginning late morning Monday and continuing through early evening.

Company and contractor overhead line crews and tree removal workers are being activated for storm duty as are damage assessment, site safety, customer service operations and O&R teams that support those functions.

O&R is seeking 50 mutual aid overhead line technicians to support its emergency response. Those crews are expected increase O&R’S field force by about 35 percent.

Strong winds may knock trees and branches onto power lines, causing customers to lose service. Of particular concern in this storm are trees where their canopies’ leaves remain on. That provides extra strain for branches and trunks in high winds. The rain-saturated ground also provides less stable footing for the roots that anchor trees.

Periods of moderate to heavy rain, embedded thunderstorms, and gusty winds will be possible from late morning to 7 p.m. Monday as low pressure moves across the area. Sustained winds are expected to reach 15-30 mph with gusts of 45-55 mph possible.

Rain of one inch to one-and-a-half-inches also is possible. In addition, the potential exists for thunderstorms to organize into a squall line, which would lead to more widespread thunderstorms and gusty winds.

As the cold front clears Monday night, rain and gusty winds will quickly taper off from west to east.  Mostly cloudy skies, brisk winds, and slightly below average temperatures will remain for Tuesday and Wednesday.

O&R urges its customers to stay 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. If the situation requires urgent action, call your local police to divert traffic until an O&R crew arrives.

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