A powerful storm system bringing strong winds with numerous downed trees, hail and lightning, interrupted electric service to more than 72,000 customers of Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. on Tuesday.
Wind gusts up to 78 miles per hour were reported in southern Dutchess County, hail fell in portions of Ulster County and approximately 1,000 lightning strikes per hour were recorded in the region during the height of the storm. As of 6 p.m., nearly 400 individual damage locations were reported.
NYSEG reported outages to 2,572 of its 15,621 customers in Eastern Dutchess at 6:08 p.m.
The quick moving storms created a travel nightmare during the evening commute. In addition to downed trees and road closures, Metro-North suspended service on all three of its Hudson Valley lines late Tuesday.
Central Hudson crews and damage assessment teams are addressing power outages and surveying damage locations. Approximately 100 mutual aid line workers from the Midwest are arriving to assist in power restoration, and in all a field force of more than 300 electric line and tree personnel has been assembled. Central Hudson anticipates restoration work could last through Thursday or later.
“This was a fast moving but highly destructive storm, centered on the Mid-Hudson Valley,” said Charles A. Freni, Central Hudson's Senior Vice President of Customer Services and Transmission & Distribution. “Most of the damage was reported in the western and southern portions of our service area, including Ulster, Orange, Putnam and southern Dutchess counties. With the assistance of mutual aid the mutual aid crews we secured in advance, we are now assessing damage and working to restore electric service.”
Customers are urged to report their power condition and to stay informed of storm and restoration status in the following ways:
- By text messaging : Customers should enroll in Central Hudson's Texting Program to use text messaging to report their power condition and to obtain repair status. To enroll, visit www.CentralHudson.com/Alerts or text REG to 236483;
- On the Web : Visit www.CentralHudson.com/Storms to report outages and obtain restoration updates;
- Via smart phones : A mobile version of the Central Hudson's website can be accessed by web-enabled cell phones and mobile devices at mobile.CenHud.com . Free Central Hudson mobile applications for Android and Apple and are also available by logging onto www.CentralHudson.com/mobileapp .
- Through Social Media : "Like" Central Hudson on Facebook ( Facebook.com/ CentralHudson ) and "Follow" on Twitter ( www.Twitter.com/CentralHudson ); and
- By Phone: Call the Central Hudson PowerLine at (845) 452-2700 or 1-800-527-2714, and use the automated system or speak to a representative to report or monitor your power condition.
Residents are also urged to:
- Stay at least 30 feet away from downed power lines, and remember that lines may be entangled and hidden in fallen trees. Assume all downed lines are live and report downed lines to Central Hudson or call 911.
- Beware of fallen trees and limbs, and use caution or traveling;
- Avoid the use of candles for illumination due to fire hazards;
- Follow the manufacturer's safety instructions on the use of emergency generators, and be sure to shut off the main breaker when in use and operate the units outdoors;
- Never use outdoor gas or charcoal grills indoors, as they pose a fire hazard and over time can give off deadly carbon monoxide gas; and
- Operate cars and motor vehicles outdoors only, and never inside the garage.
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