Thousands of Utility Workers, Including 1,300 from Out-of-State, Are Working Around the Clock to Restore Power
More Than 89 Percent of the 121,500 New Yorkers Without Power Reside in Dutchess, Putnam, Sullivan and Westchester Counties
States of Emergency Remain in Place in Dutchess, Putnam, Sullivan and Westchester Counties as Second Winter Storm Approaches New York
Second New York National Guard Deployment Beginning Recovery Operations Monday Afternoon
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today updated New Yorkers on the status of storm recovery operations in the Hudson Valley as a second winter storm is being forecasted to impact New York later this week. Last week's storm caused extensive damage to electric utility infrastructure, including hundreds of broken utility poles and damage in remote, hard-to-reach locations. This has made the completion of restoration efforts extremely challenging, especially in the face of a second storm, however power outages have continued to steadily decrease.
Currently, more than 121,500 customers remain without power, 89 percent of which are located in Dutchess, Putnam, Sullivan and Westchester Counties. New York's utilities have a total of 4,910 in-house workers and contractors in New York or en route. This includes 1,300 out-of-state line and tree workers from Canada, Connecticut, Maine, Michigan, Texas, Ohio, Missouri, North Carolina, Louisiana, Vermont, Iowa and Wisconsin that will be dedicated to restoration efforts in the hardest hit areas in Hudson Valley.
"Winter is not done yet, and many are still reeling from last week's major storm which knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers," Governor Cuomo said. "As we continue to deploy our personnel and resources, we thank those from other states and nations for their assistance during this time. We will not rest until the job is done and I urge everyone to make sure they have their own supplies ready before the first snow falls, in the event of additional power outages."
A Nor'easter is forecast for the eastern portions of the state on Wednesday and Thursday. A Winter Storm Watch has been issued by the National Weather Service for the Mid-Hudson Valley Region for Wednesday morning through Thursday morning. This storm will bring an additional 6 to 12 inches of heavy, wet snow to the region with higher amounts of 12 to 18 inches in the eastern Catskills. Sustained winds out of the east/northeast of 15 mph - 25 mph with gusts of 40 mph are possible and combined with accumulating snow, will cause additional power outages from downed limbs on power lines. Travel will be difficult, especially during the evening commute Wednesday, due to low visibility and slippery roads.
In addition to the thousands of line and tree workers working to restore power, the New York State Power Authority has deployed its transmission team to Central Hudson to help fix their 69 KV sub transmission system and 45 line workers and 15 bucket trucks from its municipal utility customers are assisting in the Central Hudson and NYSEG regions. NYPA has activated a contract with Michels, its utility contractor, to send up to 200 line workers from Wisconsin and Iowa to help with restoration efforts.
NYPA has also requested support from ElectriCities of North Carolina via the American Public Power Association mutual assistance process. This includes 18 utility workers and 5 utility trucks from ElectriCities to help Con Edison in Westchester County. ElectriCities has authorized sending additional resources, up to 50 utility workers and 15 utility trucks, as needed. NYPA also obtained resources from Niagara Peninsula, a municipal utility in Ontario, Canada for 10 utility workers and 7 trucks to help Central Hudson.
Below is a breakdown of outages by county:
At the Direction of Governor Cuomo, states of emergency have been declared in Dutchess, Putnam, Sullivan and Westchester counties and state personnel have been on the ground for days coordinating with, and providing recovery support and resources to, local governments. To continue progress, Governor Cuomo has deployed senior administration officials and 200 members of the New York National Guard out of Camp Smith in Westchester County to provide any and all assistance needed by localities. Senior administration officials remain on site in each of the four counties as they help lead recovery efforts, while National Guard members are available to assist communities with recovery efforts ranging from debris clearance to traffic control.
Additionally, crews from the New York State Department of Transportation have been dispatched to assist localities. In the Southern Tier and Hudson Valley regions, the Department has deployed more than 1,000 operators and supervisors, 388 large dump trucks, 23 chippers, three tree crew bucket trucks, 12 signal trucks, 91 loaders, four traffic signal crews and eight signal mechanics. Members of the New York State Police have also been deployed to assist with traffic control at intersections in Westchester County that remain without power and the New York State Emergency Operations Center remains open to further support local and state partners.
Prepare for Power Outages
Governor Cuomo urges residents to stay away from any lines that are down as they may be live, and should be considered extremely dangerous.
Motorists are reminded that State Law mandates that if an intersection is "blacked out" and the traffic signal is not operational, the intersection is automatically a "four way" stop. In the event of closed or blocked roadways due to flooding, downed power lines or debris, motorists are advised to exercise caution and obey all traffic signs or barricades in place, regardless of whether a roadway looks clear.
New Yorkers should also check on friends, family and neighbors, especially the elderly. Power outages can effect the ability of individuals to heat their homes, which could lead to dangerously cold temperatures in the winter months.
The Governor is offering these additional safety tips:
If You Lose Power
- Call your utility provider to notify them of the outage and listen to local broadcasts for official information. For a list of utilities, visit the New York State Department of Public Service Check to see if your neighbors have power. Check on people with access or functional needs.
- Use only flashlights for emergency lighting - candles pose the risk of fire.
- Keep refrigerators and freezer doors closed - most food requiring refrigeration can be kept safely in a closed refrigerator for several hours. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for approximately four hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours.
- Do not use a charcoal grill indoors and do not use a gas stove for heat - they could give off harmful levels of carbon monoxide.
- In cold weather, stay warm by dressing in layers and minimizing time spent outdoors. Be aware of cold stress symptoms (i.e., hypothermia) and seek proper medical attention if symptoms appear.
After a Power Outage
- Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures 40°F (4°C) for two or more hours, or that has an unusual odor, color or texture. "When in doubt, throw it out!"
- If food in the freezer is colder than 40°F and has ice crystals on it, it can be re-frozen.
- If you are concerned about medications having spoiled, contact your doctor.
- Restock your emergency kit with fresh batteries, canned foods and other supplies.