JAMESTOWN, NY (WNY News Now) – With freezing rain forecasted for parts of Western New York on Wednesday, power company crews are at the ready to respond in the event the inclement weather causes trouble.
When most think about weather related power outages, generally high winds causing fallen tree branches come to mind. However, for one of the region’s largest power providers, freezing rain is actually one of the most impactful threats.
“We have a team prepared,“ explained Alexis Arnold, Communications Manager for NYSEG and RG&E. “We are monitoring the weather, and we have crews standing by ready to mobilize to ensure that if there is a loss of power, that our teams can restore our customers as quickly, and as efficiently as possible.”
When ice builds-up on power lines, the wires can snap or break. This can be a tricky fix for crews, who face hazardous road conditions to simply get to the problem spot.
“We have crews that are trained to deal with these conditions,“ stated Arnold. “And they will work as quickly as they can, all things considering, to make sure that everyone at home is safe. And we want to make sure our crews are safe as they are out there trying to restore power. If there is a loss of power during this event.”
In the end, preparation is key.
“We want to make sure that people keep battery operated flashlights and radios on hand,“ explained Aronold. “Along supplies, drinking water, non-perishable foods. Make sure that your smartphones, and tablets, and other mobile devices are fully charged. And lastly, and this is probably the most important thing, we want to remind people to stay away from downed wires. Stay at least 30 feet from a downed power line. You never know if they could be energized, so you never want to go near those.”
If your power does go out because of the storm, the best way to get updates is on your utility’s website. For NYSEG and RG&E, users can also download their mobile app to stay connected and receive alerts as well.