Number without power continues to grow in Orleans, now over 11,000

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 March 2017 at 10:11 pm

National Grid says 90K customers without electricity in WNY

Holly Dunn posted this photo on the Orleans Hub Facebook page showing a car and garage that were crushed by a fallen tree in Medina.

In Orleans County, the number of National Grid customers without power continues to grow, now up to 11,250 as of 10 p.m.

That represents 62 percent of National Grid’s 18,221 customers in Orleans County. National Grid earlier today said it expected Orleans would have power restored at 3 p.m. on Thursday. Now the company said it is “assessing condition.”

Medina hasn’t had any takers yet on its offer for emergency shelter, but residents are still welcome to call the fire station at 798-1661 if they need a place to stay tonight or tomorrow, said Dale Banker, the county’s emergency management coordinator.

The Carlton Volunteer Fire Company has a shelter set up for tonight and for Thursday at the rec hall on Route 98, Banker said.

The power company issued a news release tonight saying 140,000 customers lost power today in upstate New York, with Western New York the hardest hit.

Here is the news release from National Grid:

A National Grid field force totaling more than 1,600 people is focused on restoring power to the more than 140,000 upstate New York customers impacted by an ongoing wind storm that is bringing gusts in excess of 70 miles an hour across portions of the region.

The powerful winds are knocking down trees and tree limbs, which are bringing down power lines and poles, and damaging electrical equipment. The company reminds customers to treat all downed lines as live electricity wires, and stay away from the lines and anything coming in contact with them.

Western New York remains the hardest hit area, with nearly 90,000 customers impacted by the strong winds. Meanwhile, portions of central and eastern New York are experiencing scattered outages with winds expected to die down this evening.

Given the significant damage to equipment and trees in western New York, combined with new outages from the sustained high winds, detailed restoration estimates will be provided once the wind subsides and a thorough damage assessment and analysis can be completed.

In the meantime, crews will continue to work around the clock to restore power as quickly and safely as possible in challenging conditions. They are removing trees, repairing damage, replacing poles and restoring power at the same time additional customers are being impacted by the continuing strong winds. More than 300 additional restoration resources are on their way to western New York to support the effort.

“We are working closely with local officials to coordinate restoration efforts,” said Melanie Littlejohn, National Grid’s New York vice president. “Safety remains our top priority. We’re asking customers to remain aware of potential safety hazards such as damaged trees, particularly broken limbs that haven’t yet fallen to the ground. We also ask that drivers use extreme caution as they approach work areas, to ensure the safety of utility and other storm-response personnel.”

Keep National Grid’s power outage reporting number – 1-800-867-5222 – on hand in case needed. In an outage, our customers should call this number immediately to expedite restoration.

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