Central Hudson is alerting customers to a risk of severe weather on Monday and Tuesday associated with Hurricane Sandy, according to forecasts by the National Weather Service. Storms may bring strong, damaging wind gusts, flooding and flash flooding. “These conditions may cause electric service interruptions as damaged and falling trees could impact utility lines,” said James P. Laurito, President of Central Hudson.
“We are monitoring weather forecasts closely and preparing to mobilize if necessary by readying our crews, vehicles, employees and contractors in the event of severe weather and the possibility of extended restoration activities next week,” said Laurito.
“The projected track of the storm carries some uncertainty, however we’re preparing for the possibility that the tropical system may impact our area,” he said. “We follow an emergency plan to prepare for and address damage that may result due to storms; and we are in communication with the National Weather Service and other forecasters, mutual aid organizations and state regulators in order to obtain advance information about the storm and coordinate our response as needed,” he said.
“Our customers, too, should be prepared for the possibility of severe weather and extended power interruptions,” said Laurito. He urged customers to:
- Pay close attention to weather advisories and storm warnings;
- Have a telephone that does not require an electric outlet to operate;
- Charge cell phones, or have a car cell phone charger;
- Keep a flashlight and fresh batteries handy;
- Have a battery-powered radio to keep informed of restoration efforts;
- Stock water and packaged or canned foods that do not require refrigeration or cooking. Be sure to have a non-electric can opener;
- Ensure adequate supplies of prescription medications, cash and other necessities;
- Refuel vehicles and ensure that they are in good working condition;
- Know how to manually open automatic garage doors;
- Have a plan to check on vulnerable neighbors or family members;
- If you do lose power, to reduce the risk of damage to major appliances that would go back on when it is restored, turn off or unplug them. Just leave a light or two on in your home. (And it’s always helpful to our repair crews if you leave an outside light on after dark, so they’ll know for sure that the power is restored at your place.)
- Familiarize themselves in advance with the features of StormCentral on Central Hudson’s website in preparation of having to report a power outage; and
- Visit the Central Hudson Facebook page and “like” it in order to obtain restoration updates as the storm progresses.
If power is lost, customers should call Central Hudson’s PowerLine at (845) 452-2700 or 1-800-527-2714 to report their power condition, and they are encouraged to use the automated reporting system. Customers with access to a computer may also report their power condition via www.CentralHudson.comby using the StormCentral function. Information regarding service restoration estimates, as it becomes available, can be obtained by phone and online, and updates are posted on Facebook and Twitter. A mobile version of the utility’s website, including StormCentral, can be accessed by web-enabled cell phones and mobile devices at http://mobile.CentralHudson.com. Free Central Hudson mobile applications for Android, Apple and Blackberry devices are also available by logging ontowww.CentralHudson.com/mobileapp; recent updates to these mobile apps were made earlier this month, and current users should download their update.
Laurito also urged customers to keep safety in mind following any storm, and advised residents to:
- Stay at least 30 feet away from downed power lines, and lines which may be entangled and hidden in fallen trees. Assume all downed lines are live;
- Avoid the use of candles for illumination;
- Follow the manufacturer’s safety instructions on the use of emergency generators, and operating the units outdoors; and
- Never use outdoor gas or charcoal grills indoors, as they pose a fire hazard and over time can give off deadly carbon monoxide gas. Use these appliances only outdoors with proper ventilation. Similarly, operate cars and motor vehicles outdoors only, and never in the garage.