Power restoration efforts are continuing into Wednesday for portions of the Hudson Valley following Monday’s storm that brought high winds and heavy rains. It caused more than 1.3 million power outages from Texas to Maine Sunday and Monday.
John Maserjian is Central Hudson spokesman.
“The major cause of the power outages were trees and limbs blowing down onto power lines. We clocked wind speeds of up to 62 miles per hour in our service territory,” says Maserjian. “Combined with the saturating rains that fell beforehand, the root systems had nothing to hold onto and, unfortunately, many entire trees toppled not only onto power lines, but across roads, onto homes.”
He says Poughkeepsie-based Central Hudson restored power to more than 27,000 within the first 24-hours.
“We had, in total, about 46,000 customers affected by the storm but, as we were able to restore power to the larger cases, we were still faced with more than 500 individual repairs that had to each be addressed before we can restore power to everyone,” Maserjian says. “And rather than one repair restoring power to 1,000 customers, we’re seeing now one repair restoring service to 10 customers, or five customers.”
Maserjian says power restoration is even more significant given that kids are home from school and there are so many residents working from home, plus others recovering from COVID-19. Central Hudson crews are following CDC guidelines amid the pandemic and practicing social distancing.
“And rather than having everyone converge into one of our regional offices and, from there, getting instructions and going out into the field to make repairs, our crews are actually reporting to many other scattered locations or directly to a job site so that they can address the outages without clustering or putting themselves in harm’s way by gathering in larger numbers,” says Maserjian. “And that’s also true, for example, for our damage assessment crews. So they typically go out in pairs and look over the storm damage and help us prioritize where repairs have to be made. Now, they’re going out singly, again, to maintain that social distancing.”
Central Hudson was able to obtain mutual assistance from electrical line contractors who mainly are from upstate New York. Maserjian expects that electric service will be restored to 95 percent of impacted customers by midnight tonight.
“We hope to have power fully restored by midday on Wednesday,” Maserjian says.
Some 2,500 Central Hudson customers remained without power by around 4 this afternoon. Orange & Rockland aimed to finish power restoration by 11 tonight to the remaining couple hundred outages in Rockland County and fewer than 80 in Orange County. Maserjian says the hardest hit areas in Central Hudson territory were in southern and southeastern Dutchess County — Beacon, Fishkill, East Fishkill, Hyde Park, Millerton, Town of Poughkeepsie, Rhinebeck and Staatsburg.
“And in Orange County, the Village and Town of Cornwall, New Windsor, the Town and City of Newburgh,” says Maserjian.
He says Cold Spring in Putnam County and Gardiner, Lloyd and Plattekill in Ulster County were also hard hit. Beacon Mayor Lee Kyriacou:
“Our traffic lights were offline and some of our pumps were offline. They came back up fairly quickly. We are fully restored now,” Kyriacou says. “One anecdote is I, my office is in front of the Route 9D/Main Street intersection. That light went from being the regular reds and greens to being very quickly in the flashing yellow/flashing red, which, given this unusual time and the low level of traffic was probably actually more energy efficient than having the regular lights, so there’s at least a little silver lining in there.”
Though city buildings and apparatus are back up and running, some residents in Beacon are still waiting for their lights. Westchester County Executive George Latimer mentioned power outages during his daily COVID-19 briefing.
“The heavy brunt was felt across the northern tiers of towns in Westchester County and along some of the Hudson River towns from about mid-county north,” Latimer says.
As of late afternoon, in Westchester, Con Edison had just north of 1,000 customers without power, with lights due back on by 11 tonight. And NYSEG had about 1,500 without power in Westchester. NYSEG also reports some 3,500 outages in Putnam County remaining.
Meantime, Central Hudson customers may pick up dry ice until 8 tonight at three locations, two in Dutchess and one in Orange. Customers are requested to drive-up only, and remain in their vehicles.
· Home Depot – 3470 North Road, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
· John Jay High School – 2012 NY-52, Hopewell Junction, NY 12533
· Vails Gate Fire Company – 872 Blooming Grove Turnpike, New Windsor, NY 12553