National Grid Responds to Severe Thunder and Lightning Storms

July 20, 2013 Updated Jul 20, 2013 at 5:30 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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National Grid Responds to Severe Thunder and Lightning Storms

July 20, 2013 Updated Jul 20, 2013 at 5:30 PM EDT

Buffalo, NY – National Grid crews have been working through the night responding to down wire calls, assessing damage and restoring service after strong thunder and lightning storms and damaging high winds moved through upstate New York yesterday evening.

At its peak, about 75,000 customers in upstate New York lost power due to the storm. About 28,500 customers were in the western New York region primarily in Erie and Niagara Counties.

In western New York, there are currently approximately 16,000 customers without power. While we expect to continue restoring customers through the day today, many customers in the hardest hit areas will have power restored by later Sunday barring additional storms that may move through the region today and tonight.

Crews are replacing broken poles and repairing down wires throughout the storm affected regions.

“This was a fast moving, but very severe storm that came with extremely high winds and caused extensive damage to our electric system,” said Ken Daly, National Grid President, New York State. “We remain in close contact with local emergency response teams and local officials as we move from damage assessment to restoration efforts today.”

Hundreds of electric and line and tree crews are dedicated to the restoration efforts across upstate New York.

Stay Safe After the Storm

National Grid offers the following tips for customers to minimize inconvenience and maximize safety as restoration efforts continue:

* Never touch downed power lines, and always assume that any fallen lines are live electric wires. If you see one, report it immediately to National Grid at 1-800-867-5222.

* People who depend on electric-powered life support equipment, such as a respirator, should let National Grid know. To register as a life support customer, call the company’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-642-4272.

* It’s a good idea to have a number of working flashlights, at least one battery-operated radio and an extra supply of batteries in your home. A radio is a good way to stay in touch, as National Grid provides news media with timely information regarding service restoration efforts.

*If you plan to use a generator to supply power during an outage, be sure to only operate it outdoors. Before operating generators, be sure to disconnect from National Grid’s system by shutting off the main breaker located in the electric service panel. Failure to do this could jeopardize crew safety.