WXXI AM News

Power company preparing for windstorm

Feb 22, 2019

Rochester Gas & Electric and NYSEG crews are preparing to respond to expected downed power lines this weekend.
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Avangrid, the parent company for Rochester Gas & Electric and NYSEG, says crews are on standby for this weekend's windstorm.

The forecast predicts gusts of up to 60 to 65 miles per hour in Rochester and western New York, especially on Sunday afternoon and Sunday night.

The power company said it’s preparing to have additional resources in place to respond to downed lines and outages. That includes company and contract resources.

"We're taking a look at the forecast where the impact is predicted and we're trying to make sure we're taking actions ahead of that to make sure we have crews and contractors in place so they can restore power as soon as possible if there are any outages," said RG&E spokesperson Juanita Washington.

According to Avangrid, its first priority during power outages is to respond to downed lines to ensure safety. After that, restoration efforts focus on repairing transmission lines and substations, then poles and power lines along streets and roads.

Washington reminded people to stay away from any downed power lines they may see.

"Because in some instances, the wires or the power lines may still be entangled in tree debris,” Washington said, “so you want to make sure you alert authorities before taking action and make sure everyone remains safe.”

To report downed lines or other situations, RG&E customers should call (800) 743-1701. NYSEG customers should call (800) 572-1131.

Customers can sign up for outage alerts to receive phone, text or email updates. The information is also available online.

A March 2017 windstorm left more than 250,000 utility customers without power -- many of them for days -- and Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered the Public Service Commission to investigate.