As Hurricane Sandy charges toward New York, Con Edison is closely monitoring its path and is preparing for electrical outages.
As of 10 a.m. today, the utility reported just over 3,600 customers without electrical power, mostly in Brooklyn. Company crews are working to restore power outages for as long as wind conditions remain safe to do so.
The company is also preparing for the possibility that it will have to shut down underground electrical equipment if the storm surge floods low-lying areas, such as parts of lower Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. Shutting down underground equipment may avoid extensive damage to company and customer equipment, and allow company crews to restore power to customers more quickly.
In the event of major flooding, the company would have to wait for flood waters to recede before workers could enter some facilities to begin assessing damage. As equipment is inspected and determined safe to energize, the highest priority for restoration will be given to critical customer facilities that have an impact on the general public such as mass transit, hospitals, police and fire stations, and sewage and water-pumping stations.
Customers can report downed power lines, outages, and check service restoration status by computer or mobile device at www.conEd.com. They also can call 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633). When reporting an outage, it is helpful if customers have their Con Edison account number available, if possible, and report whether their neighbors also have lost power. Customers who report outages will be called by Con Edison with their estimated restoration times as they become available.
The company is advising its customers to pay close attention to reports from city and municipal officials. Con Edison will continue to provide updates through the media as the storm moves closer.
In addition, important information also will be posted on the company’s Web site, www.conEd.com.
For instructions on how to report an outage, click here: http://bcove.me/6sx1yox5.
Con Edison offers the following safety tips:
· Be sure to fully charge your cell phone, lap top and other mobile devices, as well as any extra batteries, so that you will still be able to communicate in the event you lose power.
· 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 tree limbs, leaves or water.
· 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.
· Check to make sure your flashlights and any battery-operated radios are working. Also, make sure you have a supply of extra batteries. Weather updates and news on power outages 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 is in constant communication with the New York City Office of Emergency Management and the Westchester County Department of Emergency Services and company personnel are working closely with city and municipal emergency officials.