A western New York field force of nearly 1,200 workers made significant progress over the last 24 hours and has restored power to more than 88 percent of the 171,000 upstate New York homes and businesses impacted by Wednesday’s damaging wind storm. Crews have been focused on the time-consuming, labor-intensive work of removing downed trees and thousands of tree limbs, repairing substations, replacing hundreds of broken poles and damaged transformers, and replacing miles of feeder lines and circuits.
While the storm affected many areas of upstate, the most severe damage and highest wind speeds – in excess of 70 mph – were recorded in western New York. About 130,000 National Grid customers in that region were impacted and, by this afternoon, more than 110,000 have been restored. Today, the company’s full contingent of crews remains focused on restoring power to approximately 19,000 customers still out, especially in the areas where the damage was most severe, including portions of Monroe, Orleans, Genesee and Wyoming counties.
National Grid anticipates restoring power to 90 percent of upstate New York customers affected by late tonight. Restoration in a few isolated locations and for some individual customers in the hardest-hit areas likely will continue into late Saturday evening because of the severity of the damage. Specific local restoration times, updated every 15 minutes, are available on the Outage Central page of National Grid’s website.
“Our crews have made significant progress last night and through today and we have received outstanding support from state, county and local first-responders and emergency coordinators,” said Melanie Littlejohn, National Grid’s New York vice president. “However there is challenging work ahead and our job is not done until we have connected every customer.”
Littlejohn noted that the equipment damage, particularly in rural areas, is severe and progress will be slow and steady. “The final hours of our restoration process are always the most labor and time intensive,” she said. “The number of customers restored by each repair job typically is smaller because the remaining damage affects very small pockets of customers, sometimes even a single customer.”
National Grid is offering customers dry ice and bottled water at the following locations through 5 p.m. today.
Wrights Corners Fire Company
4043 Lake Ave., Lockport, NY
City of Batavia Fire Department
18 Evans Street, Batavia, NY
Village Fire Station
80 Owens Rd., Brockport, NY
The company will continue dry ice and bottled water distribution again tomorrow from noon until 4 p.m. at the Batavia and Brockport locations only.
Company Advises Caution
The company also reminds customers to stay safe as they continue to recover from the storm’s damage. “Given the storm’s impact, there may be unsafe conditions in the region,” Littlejohn said. “We’re asking customers to remain aware of potential safety hazards such as damaged trees, particularly broken limbs that haven’t yet fallen to the ground. We also ask that drivers use extreme caution as they approach work areas, to ensure the safety of utility and other storm-response personnel who have been in the field around the clock restoring service.”
The company also urges the public to exercise safety around electricity wires and other equipment. Downed lines should be immediately reported to your local emergency response organization or by calling National Grid at 1-800-867-5222.
Additionally, if you use a generator to supply power during an outage, be sure to only operate it outdoors. Regardless of ventilation, never operate a generator indoors. Before operating a generator, be sure to disconnect from National Grid’s system by shutting off the main breaker, located in the electric service panel. Failure to do this could endanger our crews and your neighbors.
For detailed information on post-storm safety, visit the Outage Central section at www.nationalgridus.com.
When a power outage occurs in a neighborhood, it may in fact affect thousands of customers. How does National Grid restore service?
National Grid emergency crews follow a time-tested plan to begin restoring service as safely and quickly as conditions allow. Accurate damage surveys, resource assessments and restoration estimates are critical in the preliminary stages of any major weather event. National Grid crews perform damage surveys as soon as possible during and after the weather-related incidents following established safety guidelines. Credible and consistent communication with local public officials and the media is maintained throughout the duration of the restoration effort by in-person updates between National Grid personnel and state and local officials, regular media updates, and updates to Outage Central.
As damage assessments are underway, our crews clear away hazards such as live, downed lines. The clean-up of storm-damaged trees and branches removed from our electric facilities remains the responsibility of the customer or property owner, whether private or municipal.
Next come repairs to main transmission facilities, including towers, poles and high-tension wires that deliver power from generating plants. Recovery work at local
substations is also a high priority, because power flows from transmission lines through substations on its way to you.
Circuits and transformers in neighborhoods and the wires that connect them to your home come next – starting with areas that involve the most customers. While waiting for your power to return, please know that we’re doing everything we can to restore electric service as quickly as possible.
Here with you, here for you
National Grid offers several ways to stay informed and safe – before, during and after a storm:
For real-time power outage information, online outage reporting, and in-depth storm safety information, visit the Outage Central section of our website, www.nationalgridus.com. Customers who create an online profile on our website can also sign up for email alerts.
To receive text message alerts and updates from National Grid, text the word STORM to NGRID (64743).
Online and text alert services can be started and stopped at the customer’s request.
Other ways to stay in touch:
- Visit our website: www.nationalgridus.com
- Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/nationalgridus
- Friend us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/nationalgrid
Click here for a video on how National Grid restores power after a major storm.