Mother Nature wasn’t showing much love in the Hudson Valley Monday, whipping up winds that downed trees and power lines, causing thousands of power outages throughout the region. Though much progress has been made, there are still many customers who will have to wait until tonight or even tomorrow morning to turn on their lights.
The Hudson Valley experienced just scattered outages during the first big storm of the season last week that left up to a foot of snow in some places, but the second storm that swooped in Sunday was not as forgiving. Gusts of around 50-60 miles-per-hour with sustained winds of 35 miles-per-hour arrived by Monday and toppled branches, trees and power lines. Here’s Central Hudson spokesman John Maserjian.
“This wind storm was predicted but its intensity was, I think, took everyone a little by surprise,” Maserjian says. “We do have some mutual aid crews working with us today from contractors that we use. About 22 additional workers were brought in, some from the Boston area, to help restore service today.”
Nearly 23,000 Central Hudson customers lost service because of the wind storm, with the heaviest damage in northern Ulster and Dutchess counties. As of 11 Tuesday morning, the bulk of Central Hudson’s remaining outages — nearly 3,600 — remained in Ulster. Of these, more than 2,100 were in Woodstock, and more than 900 in Olive.
“The most heavily damaged areas were in the Ashokan Reservoir area of Ulster County and northern Dutchess County, particularly the Red Hook, Tivoli, Milan and Rhineback areas,” Maserjian says. “We were contending with fallen limbs and toppled trees. There were some access difficulties in certain areas due to fallen trees blocking roadways. And we worked with municipal and county officials to help clear those roads so that both utility crews could get through as well as other emergency services.”
In Greene County, the 17 Central Hudson customers in Hunter should have power back by 10 p.m. Tuesday. In fact, all customers should have their power back by then.
Con Edison spokesman Alan Drury says the utility was dealing with some 9,300 outages in Westchester County since the storm kicked in over the weekend, and was down to about 1,200 Tuesday morning.
“We’ll be working all day today and probably into the night to get the remaining 1,200 restored,” Drury says. “Most of the damage was obviously due to trees being blown into our equipment by the strong winds. The winds came in stronger than I believe were forecast. So there’s some areas where we’ve actually had multiple poles down.”
Con Ed’s Westchester outages are not confined to one area.
“We have more than 100 customers out in several different towns and villages — Harrison, Mamaroneck, Cortlandt, to name a few,” says Drury.
Those he mentioned have restoration times of 7 Wednesday morning, as do New Rochelle, Scarsdale and Yorktown, to name a few more. NYSEG spokeswoman Juanita Washington says most of the remaining outages were to be restored by noon. NYSEG’s Putnam and Westchester areas were hard hit. Most of Orange & Rockland’s nearly 200 customers in Rockland County were due to be back online by noon Tuesday. These outages were mainly in Clarkstown, Ramapo, Spring Valley and Wesley Hills.
Both Drury and Maserjian issued the usual but important warning to stay away from downed lines. Assume they are live.