January 30, 2013
For Release: Immediately    
 
Central Hudson Customers Advised of the Potential for Severe Weather

Central Hudson advises customers to prepare for the possibility of severe weather tonight through Thursday morning, as  weather forecasts predict thunderstorms and strong winds that may damage trees and power lines, causing potential electric service interruptions. “The National Weather Service has issued a weather advisory, forecasting wind gusts up to 60 miles per hour together with heavy rains that may cause tree damage and local flooding,” said James P. Laurito, President of Central Hudson. “Customers are urged to prepare and are reminded to take steps to stay safe during and after the storm,” he said.

“Residents should exercise extreme caution when traveling, as fallen trees and downed lines can create hazardous driving conditions,” said Laurito. “Assume all fallen lines are live, and stay at least 30 feet way. Be aware of flooded roadways, and especially avoid water and objects near fallen lines as they may be in contact with electricity.

“Central Hudson repair crews are readying equipment and vehicles, and employees will be assigned storm-related duties as needed,” said Laurito. “We continue to closely monitor weather forecasts to gain the latest information,” he said.

“Our customers should also prepare for the possibility of power interruptions,” said Laurito. He advised customers to:

  • Pay close attention to weather advisories and storm warnings;
  • Have a telephone that does not require an electric outlet to operate;
  • Charge cell phones, or have a car cell phone charger;
  • Keep a flashlight and fresh batteries handy;
  • Have a battery-powered radio to keep informed of restoration efforts;
  • Stock water and packaged or canned foods that do not require refrigeration or cooking, and be sure to have a non-electric can opener;
  • Ensure adequate supplies of prescription medications, cash and other necessities;
  • Refuel vehicles and ensure that they are in good working condition;
  • Know how to manually open automatic garage doors;
  • Have a plan to check on vulnerable neighbors or family members;
  • If you do lose power, to reduce the risk of damage to major appliances that would go back on when it is restored, turn off or unplug them. Just leave a light or two on in your home. (It's always helpful to our repair crews if you leave an outside light on after dark, so they'll know for sure that the power is restored at your place.)
  • Familiarize themselves in advance with the features of StormCentral on Central Hudson’s website in preparation of having to report a power outage; and
  • Visit the Central Hudson Facebook page and “like” it in order to obtain restoration updates as the storm progresses.

If power is lost, customers should call Central Hudson’s PowerLine at (845) 452-2700 or 1-800-527-2714 to report their power condition, and they are encouraged to use the automated reporting system. Customers with access to a computer may also report their power condition via www.CentralHudson.com by using the StormCentral function. Information regarding service restoration estimates, as it becomes available, can be obtained by phone and online, and updates are posted on Facebook and Twitter. A mobile version of the utility’s website, including StormCentral, can be accessed by web-enabled cell phones and mobile devices at http://mobile.CentralHudson.com. Free Central Hudson mobile applications for Android, Apple and Blackberry devices are also available by logging onto www.CentralHudson.com/mobileapp; recent updates to these mobile apps were made earlier this month, and current users should download their update.

For safety’s sake, Laurito also urged customers to:

  • Stay at least 30 feet away from downed power lines, and lines which may be entangled and hidden in fallen trees. Assume all downed lines are live;
  • Avoid the use of candles for illumination;
  • 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; and
  • Never use outdoor gas or charcoal grills indoors, as they pose a fire hazard and over time can give off deadly carbon monoxide gas. Use these appliances only outdoors with proper ventilation. Similarly, operate cars and motor vehicles outdoors only, and never in the garage.

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