FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
- NYSEG and RG&E urge customers to stay away from downed power lines – even lines that appear dead can be deadly.
- Emergency generators can be dangerous. Follow manufacturer’s instructions carefully when operating an emergency generator.
- Never run emergency generators indoors; operate them only outdoors in well-ventilated areas and away from windows and doors. Learn more about generator safety at nyseg.com and rge.com.
NYSEG and RG&E Responding to Widespread Outages
as High Winds Sweep Across the State
Binghamton and Rochester, NEW YORK — March 2, 2017 — NYSEG and RG&E, subsidiaries of AVANGRID (NYSE:AGR), report approximately 32,000 customers are without power across the state this morning. Crews from both utilities have been working since Wednesday evening to protect public safety and repair down lines as strong winds brought down trees and limbs, causing extensive damage to power lines in communities across the state. Crews have worked throughout the night to de-energize damaged equipment that may represent a risk to public safety, while also assessing damage and making repairs to maintain service to critical facilities. Approximately 75,000 customers of NYSEG and RG&E have lost power at some point since the winds began building on Wednesday evening.
The companies expect to restore power to customers in many areas by late tonight, but estimates of restoration times will be updated throughout the day as they make further assessments of the damage.
Customers can get the latest outage counts; outage locations by county, municipality and streets/roads; and estimated restoration times (as they are available) on the companies’ websites: http://www.nyseg.com/Outages/outageinformation.html or http://www.rge.com/Outages/default.html.
Estimated times for restoration will be updated throughout the day as the company completes its assessment of the damage and assigns crews. Estimated times for restoration may also change if continuing stormy weather delays progress or causes further outages.
NYSEG and RG&E also encourage customers to sign up for Outage Alerts to receive updates throughout the day automatically by phone, text, or e-mail as the companies update the status of the restoration process in their area. Customers can sign up by visiting the NYSEG website at http://www.nyseg.com/YourAccount/AboutAlerts.html or at the RG&E website at http://www.rge.com/YourAccount/AboutAlerts.html .
Power Restoration Priorities
NYSEG’s and RG&E’s first priorities are to respond to known incidents of downed power lines to make the situations safe. (NYSEG customers are asked to call 1.800.572.1131 to report downed wires. RG&E customers are asked to call 1.800.743.1701) Once this vital public safety work is complete, the company will:
- Assess the damage to the electricity delivery system.
- Develop a detailed restoration plan.
- Make repairs as quickly as possible.
How We Go About Restoring Power Following Major Storms
We first repair the backbone of the electricity system – transmission lines and substations – that bring electricity to the local distribution system that serves our customers. We then make any necessary repairs to the distribution system that includes the poles and power lines along streets and roads, focusing first on those circuits where we can restore power to the largest number of customers. As part of this process, we take into account the needs of hospitals, nursing homes, fire and police stations, as well as any other critical infrastructure. This is a time-proven process that ensures we safely restore service as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Customers should remember these tips:
During a Power Interruption
- Contact neighbors to see if their power is off. A loss of power may be the result of a blown fuse or a tripped circuit breaker.
- To report a power interruption, contact NYSEG at 1.800.572.1131 or RG&E at 1.800.743.1701. Our telephone systems let callers report the problem, help our crews respond quickly and efficiently, and provide customers with power interruption updates. Because many people may be trying to reach us during a power interruption, phone lines may be busy. Anyone who has access to a working computer or mobile device during a power interruption can also report the interruption online at nyseg.com or rge.com.
- Listen to a battery-powered radio for weather and power restoration updates.
- Turn off major appliances (electric water heaters, refrigerators and freezers) and sensitive electronic equipment (TVs, VCRs, DVD players, computers, audio equipment) to prevent overloading and possible damage when power is restored. Turning off this equipment may mean unplugging it, turning off a circuit breaker or removing a fuse for the circuit that provides power to this equipment. Leave one light switch “on” to know when power has been restored.
- Don’t use a natural gas or propane range to heat your home.
- Never use outdoor grills or stoves inside.
- Keep refrigerators and freezers closed as much as possible. Most food will last 24 hours if you minimize the opening of refrigerator and freezer doors.
After Power Is Restored
- If a basement or home was flooded, customers should have an electrician check the home and have a plumbing and heating contractor check natural gas appliances before contacting NYSEG or RG&E to have services turned on.
- Turn on appliances and sensitive electronic equipment one at a time to avoid overloading circuits.
- Replenish emergency supplies used during the storm.
- Additional storm safety information is available at nyseg.com or rge.com (click on “Outage Central” and then on “Storm Safety”).
About AVANGRID: AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE: AGR) is a diversified energy and utility company with more than $30 billion in assets and operations in 25 states. The company operates regulated utilities and electricity generation through two primary lines of business. Avangrid Networks includes eight electric and natural gas utilities, serving 3.1 million customers in New York and New England. Avangrid Renewables operates 6.3 gigawatts of electricity capacity, primarily through wind power, in states across the United States. AVANGRID employs 7,000 people. The company was formed by a merger between Iberdrola USA and UIL Holdings Corporation in 2015. IBERDROLA S.A. (Madrid: IBE), a worldwide leader in the energy industry, owns 81.5% of AVANGRID. For more information, visit www.avangrid.com.
About NYSEG and RG&E: NYSEG and RG&E are subsidiaries of AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE: AGR). NYSEG serves 886,000 electricity customers and 265,000 natural gas customers across more than 40% of upstate New York. RG&E serves 375,000 electricity customers and 311,000 natural gas customers in a nine-county region centered on the City of Rochester. For more information, visit www.nyseg.com and www.rge.com.