Con Edison Crews Battling Whipping Winds to Restore Customers in Westchester

Written By: Talk of the Sound News

400 New Rochelle homes were without power today.

NEW YORK — Con Edison has mobilized extra crews to restore electrical service to customers affected by the fierce blizzard that began Sunday and continued to pound the region this morning.

The company expects to restore service to nearly all of its Westchester County customers by 5 a.m. Tuesday and to nearly all of its Queens customers by 10 a.m. Tuesday.

Con Edison reported approximately 5,300 customers out of power in New York City and Westchester County as of 1 p.m. today. The remaining customer outages include about 2,300 in Queens and 3,000 in Westchester County. In all, the storm affected approximately 10,000 customers.

Winds gusting up to 65 miles per hour have knocked trees into power lines, cutting off electricity and creating potentially dangerous conditions, while the heavy snow has left many roads impassable.

Extra overhead line crews are working in Westchester, Queens and other affected areas, and more crews will be added during the day. Con Edison also has additional customer service representatives and tree-clearing crews on duty to respond to customers and the outages.

The company asks its customers to remain patient. The snow has made for treacherous conditions that will make restoration more difficult.

Customers can report power interruptions or service problems as well as view service restoration information online at and on their cell phones and PDAs. Customers may also call Con Edison to report any outages at 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633). When reporting an outage, customers should have their Con Edison account number available, if possible, and report whether their neighbors also have lost power.

In the event of severe outages, primary distribution feeders will be restored first, with the highest priority given to lines that supply the most customers out of service. Next, the crews will restore secondary facilities, such as transformers and secondary cables, again with highest priority given to lines supplying the most customers out of service. Individual services, lines serving a single home, will be restored as crews become available.

Con Edison offers the following tips to prepare for a storm:

· If you see downed electrical wires, do not go near them. Treat all downed wires as if they are live. Never attempt to move or touch them with any object. Be mindful that downed wires can be hidden from view by snow and tree limbs. Report all downed wires to Con Edison and your local police department immediately. If a power line falls on your car while you’re in it, stay inside the vehicle and wait for emergency personnel.

· If your power goes out, turn off all lights and appliances to prevent overloaded circuits when power is restored. Leave at least one light switch in the on position to alert you when power has been restored.

· Check to make sure your flashlights and any battery-operated radios or televisions are in working order. Also, make sure you have a supply of extra batteries. Weather updates and news on restorations of electrical service can be heard on most local radio and television stations.

· Avoid opening your freezer to see if food is still frozen. Every time you open the door, room-temperature air enters and speeds the thawing process. Most fully loaded freezers will keep food frozen for approximately 36 to 48 hours; half-full freezers will keep food frozen for approximately 24 hours.

The company will maintain close contact with the New York City Office of Emergency Management and the Westchester County Department of Emergency Services to coordinate storm response as necessary.