New York

Upstate New York braces for high winds and potential power disruptions

As upstate New York braces for potentially severe weather conditions, area utilities have ramped up their preparations to handle the aftermath, including the possibility of downed trees and power lines. The region is on high alert due to a High Wind Warning issued by the National Weather Service, effective from mid-morning Tuesday through early Wednesday morning. With wind gusts exceeding 60 miles per hour at times, the situation calls for significant readiness.

Utility companies such as Rochester Gas and Electric (RG&E) and New York State Electric and Gas (NYSEG), both part of the same parent company, have taken proactive measures. They have pre-staged approximately 1,300 line workers and 200 tree crews across their service areas, ensuring a swift response to any disruptions caused by the storm. Similarly, National Grid has mobilized its crews throughout the upstate region, preparing for potential power outages.

Governor Kathy Hochul has expressed concerns about the storm bringing heavy rain and possible flooding to parts of the state. In response, the state’s Division of Homeland Security has activated its emergency operations center, coordinating the state’s efforts to tackle the impact of the storm. This highlights the seriousness of the impending weather conditions and the need for comprehensive preparedness measures.

WXXI meteorologist Josh Nichols pointed out a particular concern: the ground is already saturated due to recent snowfall. This, coupled with the expected high winds, increases the likelihood of trees and power lines being brought down, posing significant risks to safety and property.

In the event of a power outage, residents can contact their respective utility companies. RG&E customers can call 1-800-743-1701, while NYSEG customers should dial 1-800-572-1131. For National Grid, the number to call is 1-800-642-4272. These utilities also offer online information and mobile app services under ‘AVANGRID’ in the Apple or Android app stores. Additionally, RG&E and NYSEG customers can sign up for Outage Alerts to receive automatic updates via phone, text, or email about the restoration process in their areas. National Grid offers a similar service where customers can text ‘OUT’ to 64743 to report an outage.

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