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NYSEG prepares for potential power outages during high winds

Power crews prepare for 60+mph winds while keeping safe from Covid-19
Posted at 12:13 PM, Apr 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-14 10:28:13-04

HAMBURG, N.Y (WKBW-TV) — A spokesperson for NYSEG and RG&E tells 7 Eyewitness News that the power company has already positioned 1,000 workers across its service area to prepare for a high-wind event on Monday April 13.

The wind storm is expected to cross WNY Monday afternoon and evening with gusts around 60+ mph.

Rainfall has soaked the ground making it more likely that some trees with shallow roots could topple onto power lines.

If electricity goes out, the utility is advising people to keep a safe social distance from work crews. NYSEG and RG&E only have one person per truck during the covid-19 crisis. In case of problems, customers should expect to see several trucks with one operator each.

The company said it's seeing an increase in the number of home-bound individuals approaching crews to ask about repair work during the epidemic. "It is more people being at home and everyone gets curious," said Michael Jamison, senior manager of corporate communications for NYSEG and RG&E. "If you do have to approach that crew or contractor, give them that distance because ultimately we want to keep our customers and employees safe."

If power does go out, report it to NYSEG by TEXTING the word "OUT" to 697348 or calling 800-572-1131. Updates will be available through the company's website and social media channels.

Customers can also use the company's new mobile app available in the Apple and Android app stores by searching "NYSEG" or "RG&E"

PREPARATION FOR STORM

  • Monitor forecasts and prepare for interruptions.
  • Keep battery-operated flashlights and radios on hand.
  • Make sure that smart phones, tablets and other devices are fully charged.
  • Contact a neighbor to see if their power is off also. Otherwise, you may have blown a fuse or tripped a circuit breaker.
  • Keep refrigerators and freezers closed as much as possible. Food will last 24 hours if you minimize the opening of refrigerator and freezer doors.

Stay at least 30 feet away from any downed wire!

GENERATOR SAFETY

  • Never run a generator in an enclosed space.
  • Don't run portable generators in the rain.
  • Make sure you turn it off before refueling.
  • Use the proper size extension cords (Heavy duty and rated for outdoor use).
  • Only store gasoline in ANSI-approved containers in a cool space that is well ventilated.
  • Keep the generator at least 20 feet from your home.
  • Aim exhaust away from your house.
  • Don't attempt to back-feed your home as the electricity can flow out to the main power lines, and be amplified by pole transformers, which can pose a serious hazard to utility crews.