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O&R Prepares for Outages as Snow Storm Intensifies

O&R is reporting few outages as of 3 p.m. Friday, but is preparing for the weather to turn much worse. UPDATED at 6:28 p.m. with plans to keep crews working all night.

Update at 6:28 p.m.

O&R Utilities expects to keep crews working all night to repair damage caused by the blizzard conditions in the company's servie area.

Crews will work in 16-hour shifts until repairs are complete and all customers have power restored.

For more on the response to Friday's snow storm, click here to for a video explanation by O&R President and CEO John McAvoy. 

Initial report at 3 p.m.

As of 3 p.m. Friday, the snow and winds had caused few power outages in Orange and Rockland Utilities' service area.

"Nothing so far to speak of," O&R's Mike Donovan said. "It's a process that is totally weather driven. We're geared up for a significant event. We are on storm alert. We expect heavy weather and when it comes, we expect outages. when they occur, we will go out and repair them.

Donovan said O&R brought in extra help from as far away as Kentucky, Ohio an Washington, D.C. There are even some crews from Thirau, a company in Canada.

O&R made automated calls to customers Thursday warning of the approaching storm, advising that they prepare for power outages and stay away from downed wires. This was made possible by a new phone system, which Donovan said has also helped improve their customer service response.

"We were just making people aware, though I don't know how you couldn't be with the coverage of this storm," Donovan said. "They need to plan for this event. Planning is important for this sort of thing.

"We have a new phone company which has an extraordinary platform, thigns we couldn't do before like the automated call."

O&R also opened a new customer service office in Blooming Grove, which makes it easier for workers to make it in from Orange County.

"We also don't have all of our apples in one basket," Donovan said. "We're not all in one location."

Nick Locarno February 08, 2013 at 09:16 PM
No link to the O&R Storm Center map? Clean it up one time, Patch... http://apps.coned.com/stormcenter_external_oru/default.html

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