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O&R: 71,000 in Rockland Without Power, Crews Back at Work

Orange and Rockland Utilities is reporting approximately 200,000 of its customers, 71,000 in Rockland County alone, are without power as of 6 a.m. Tuesday.

Orange and Rockland work crews returned to the field around midnight Tuesday morning, but approximately two thirds of its customers were without power as of 6 a.m.

O&R is reporting approximately 71,000 customers without power in Rockland County alone, 21,000 of them in Clarkstown and 7,730 in Orangetown. The utility company has 111,000 total customers in the county.

The overall numbers had not changed much since late Monday night, with 200,000 of the 300,000 people the company serves without power. Though crews are back at work, the initial projection has power restored to most customers within 10 days.

"Today is going to be a day of damage assessment and working on mainly transmission and substations," said Maria Pollard of O&R. If we can do that, we can make some progress.

"We have damage assessors out and site safety to monitor downed wires. Subcontractors and O&R crews are getting back on the road."

Pollard warned that there are still wires down all over, many that may be covered by downed trees or leaves.

"People need to be very careful," Pollard said. "The best advise we can give is if you don't have to go out, don't go out. If you find a downed wire, you need to keep your distance and call us."

O&R's outage map can be found here.

O&R offers these tips before the storm: 

  • For safety’s sake, don’t touch or approach any downed wire. Assume it is energized and dangerous. Call O&R immediately toll-free 1-877-434-4100. Depending on the situation, you may also want to call your local police to divert traffic until an O&R crew arrives.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Stock up on non-perishable food, bottled water, manual can opener, baby supplies and pet food. Set your refrigerator and freezer controls to their coldest settings. Fill the bathtub with water.
  • Have emergency equipment within reach --- portable radio, flashlights, spare batteries, first aid kit, cell phone and important medications. Update your personal list of emergency phone numbers. Keep O&R’s toll-free number 1-877-434-4100 near the phone to report power outages.
  • If you experience a power outage, don’t assume that O&R automatically knows about it or that someone else will report it. To be sure the outage is reported, please call O&R toll-free at 1-877-434-4100 to let O&R know what happened. The more information you can provide, the more O&R can help you.   
  • Remember, if the base station of your cordless phone plugs into the wall, your phone will be unusable during a power outage. 
  • If a family member relies on electrically operated medical devices, secure a portable generator or make alternate arrangements for care. O&R does not provide customers with generators.
  • Keep at least a half-tank of gas in your car. Consider having extra cash on-hand, in case ATM machines don’t work.
  • Listen for storm alerts on the radio. In case of power outages, O&R will keep the stations updated on repair progress.
  • Learn how to manually open and close any electrically powered garage door, security door or gate.

For more from Patch on O&R's response to Hurricane Sandy:

  • UPDATE: O&R: All Hands on Deck for Hurricane Sandy
  • O&R Prepares For Storm As Severe As Irene
  • O&R Declares Storm Watch As Severe Weather Approaches
MitchP October 31, 2012 at 06:18 PM
The O&R outage map has not been updated. At all.
t.p. November 01, 2012 at 08:56 PM
Why should we be "thankful" to people who are doing what they're paid to do? ... This is their job. And they're taking their time. It would be more understanding if this were to happen in Spring, but these cold nights are not fair to children. And I agree - been on 59 and there are at least 4 main traffic lights out. Very chaotic, especially when the mph is 45
Katy November 01, 2012 at 09:09 PM
Really!!!! That's your response. I feel so sorry for you. you are obviously to sour to have any heart for all the people hurting.
t.p. November 01, 2012 at 09:42 PM
Katy - you make no sense. My comment had 0 to do w those hurting. This is about Rockland & Orange County power & electricity. Are you "hurting" from this specific subject? And if you read what I said I wrote "its not fair to the children" ... Feel sorry for yourself for being illiterate to understand my comment or what it was referring to.
John November 02, 2012 at 10:38 AM
Well, it's not fair that some of Buena Vista Rd in New City got power and the rest is in total darkness. It was 30 degrees this morning and its not a very fun time to have a power outage and Katy, the get paid for power, so they really need to restore it in a timely fashion. There's no excuse for not having power 5 days later while O & R trucks are passing by and "assessing the damage".

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