Orange and Rockland Utilities Gears Up for Emergency Response as Severe Storm Threatens Region

Orange and Rockland Utilities (O&R) is bracing for a potential weather-related crisis as they prepare to activate their emergency response workforce Sunday night. The objective: to swiftly address any damage and restore power, which could be affected by strong gusty winds, heavy rainfall, and the possibility of severe isolated thunderstorms. The anticipated window for these conditions spans from 10 p.m. Sunday to 8 a.m. Monday.

This storm poses a significant risk to electric service in the area due to the associated high winds and lightning strikes. These factors can contribute to downed trees, tree limbs, and overhead electric lines, all of which may disrupt the safe and reliable delivery of electric service.

Meteorologists predict that the storm will bring 1.5 to 3.5 inches of rain accompanied by sustained winds ranging from 10 to 25 mph, with gusts reaching 40 to 50 mph. These gusty winds are expected to persist through late afternoon Monday as the storm moves out of the region.

To address the impending crisis, O&R is mobilizing their company and contractor overhead line crews, tree removal experts, customer service operators, and other members of their emergency response team. Additionally, mutual aid crews will be deployed to assist in this massive effort.

For the safety of the public, O&R is issuing a stern warning: under no circumstances should anyone touch or approach any downed wire. It should be assumed that the wire is energized and dangerous. If you encounter a downed wire, please call O&R immediately at the toll-free number 1-877-434-4100. Depending on the situation, it may also be advisable to contact local law enforcement to divert traffic from the location of the downed wire until an O&R crew arrives.

In the event of a power outage, it is essential to remember that O&R may not automatically be aware of the situation. You can report the outage and check for updates on the restoration process through various channels, including the O&R website at oru.com, the O&R mobile app available for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices, or by texting “OUT” to 69678 (myORU). Additionally, you can call 1-877-434-4100 for assistance. For the most up-to-date information about power outages, O&R encourages customers to refer to their Outage Map.

Once the weather conditions improve to allow for safe damage assessment and electric service restoration, O&R’s priority will be to clear downed wires blocking roads and make critical repairs to emergency facilities such as police and fire stations and hospitals. Subsequently, they will focus on restoring power to areas where it will benefit the largest number of customers in the shortest amount of time before addressing smaller outages and individual customer disruptions.

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