With heavy snow and high winds predicted for Wednesday night’s nor’easter, O&R has declared a Storm Watch today.
The storm activity has the potential to cause power line damage and electric service interruptions, so company and contractor overhead line crews and tree removal crews are ramping up for a high-volume outage response to the storm, as are damage assessment, site safety, customer service operations and the wide array of O&R teams that support those functions.
In addition to its company crews, O&R has hired 50 additional overhead line technicians to supplement its own field forces to repair damage and restore service interruptions resulting from this event. Those additional workers increase O&R’s field forces for this storm by about 35 percent.
To prepare for the severe weather, O&R electric and gas crews are securing active work sites today to prevent wind and water damage from the predicted storm.
How to report an outage
If you experience a power outage, don’t assume that O&R automatically knows about it. You can report it and check to see when your lights will be back on by:
Visiting www.oru.com/ReportOutage from any computer or web-based mobile device
Accessing O&R’s mobile app from your iPhone, iPad or Android device – download via Apple Store or Google Play
Text messaging by texting “OUT” to 69678 (myORU)
How Restoration Works
Once it is safe to assess storm damage and begin service restoration, O&R crews will give priority to making repairs that clear major community roads – work that also restores power to a sizable number of neighboring customers. At the same time, crews will restore power to critical and emergency facilities (police and fire stations, and hospitals, for example). Then, crews will focus on getting power back on to those locations that will return electricity to the most customers quickly. Crews then will work their way down to restore smaller outages and individual customer’s outages.
O&R urges its customers to stay clear of downed electric wires. Don’t go near any downed wire. Assume it is energized and dangerous. Call O&R immediately toll-free at 1-877-434-4100. If the situation requires urgent action, call your local police to divert traffic until an O&R crew arrives.
Important Safety Tips
- Maintain a distance of at least 50 feet from downed wires and anything they are in contact with including puddles of water and fences. Supervise your children so that they are not in the vicinity and keep pets on a leash or otherwise secure.
- If a fallen wire is draped over a car, do not approach the car and make rescue attempts. Remain a safe distance away and try to keep the occupant of the vehicle calm. If possible, emergency personnel should handle the situation.
- Pole-top transformers – those small grey-colored metal drums attached to the wires at the tops of most utility poles – also should be avoided when they have been knocked to the ground.
- Portable generators pose a serious hazard if used improperly. They should be used and installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions. A wrong connection could feed electricity back through the lines and endanger our repair crews. Never plug a generator into a wall unit, use it indoors or set it up outdoors near open home windows or air-handling vents.
- Have emergency equipment within reach – portable radio, flashlights, spare batteries, first aid kit, cell phone and important medications. Keep O&R’s toll-free number 1-877-434-4100 near the phone to report power outages.
- Remember: if the base station of your cordless phone plugs into the wall, your phone will be unusable during a power outage.
- In addition, O&R personnel have been instructed to ensure all safety protocols when responding to emergency calls to keep everyone safe from the coronavirus. O&R asks members of the public to maintain appropriate social distance when they encounter O&R employees working in the field, to provide for mutual safety.