Stony Brook, NY - August 4, 2015 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today urged New Yorkers that were affected by severe thunderstorms yesterday and early this morning to use caution and stay tuned to local weather and media outlets. The Governor also advised New Yorkers to subscribe to NY-Alert; New York’s free, subscription based emergency notification system.
“As communities across the state continue to experience and respond to extreme storms, I am urging all New Yorkers in the impacted regions to exercise caution,” Governor Cuomo said. “Thunderstorms and flash flooding can quickly create dangerous situations, and New Yorkers in any of the worst hit areas should be careful if they must leave home. Our administration is actively monitoring these storms alongside our local partners, and we will do everything necessary to keep people safe.”
Several thunderstorm cells containing straight line winds that reached gusts up to 90-100 mph and torrential rains, passed through central and eastern New York Monday and in the early hours of Tuesday, creating widespread power outages, downed trees, and flooded roads in some areas. At the peak of the individual storms, approximately 69,000 customers lost power. Power was knocked out in the Village of Fort Plain and other areas of Montgomery County and at the height of the storm, over 1,200 customers were without power in Montgomery County. National Grid is reporting that at this time there are still approximately 386 customers without power in the County and are continuing to restore power to these areas. Department of Transportation crews are assisting in Fort Plain to remove debris from area roads.
Thunderstorms in Suffolk County this morning caused localized damage in the Town of Brookhaven which includes SUNY Stony Brook where winds in this area were reported to have reached 60 to 80 mph. PSEG Long Island is reporting 21,000 customers without power in this area as of 3:45 PM today, down from a peak of approximately 68,000.
Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner John P. Melville said, “My staff is in constant contact with the affected regions and are monitoring the situation for unmet needs. We are ready to assist with any additional resources if they are needed.”
Additional storms are forecast throughout central and eastern New York today as cooler air begins to move in to the state. Currently there are severe thunderstorm watches in Albany, Columbia, Essex, Greene, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Warren, and Washington Counties until 8:00 PM. Additional weather alerts are expected throughout the day and it is important to remain informed and alert by monitoring local radio or TV stations for updated emergency information, and to subscribe to NY-Alert, either for your mobile phone at iAlertz.com or via the NY-Alert website.
The Department of Public Service will continue to monitor utilities efforts throughout the storm and during the restoration period. Utilities are prepared to respond 24-hours a day to power disruptions and mandated to implement their emergency response plans, which includes contacting customers on life support equipment.
National Grid is forecasting that a majority of its customer outages in Montgomery County will be restored this evening.
PSEG LI currently has a total of approximately 700 in-house workers and outside contractors committed to storm restoration efforts, including 63 lineman from PSE&G New Jersey and 48 lineman from Con Edison. The added workers on Long Island will be on duty beginning today. The company is also augmenting tree-trimming crews to support restoration efforts.
In light of the severity of the storm, the Department extended its Call Center Helpline hours beginning Tuesday, August 4, until 7:30 PM, and continuing from 7:30 AM to 7:30 PM, Wednesday, August 5, as needed, to assist consumers in their storm restoration efforts. The Department’s Call Center Helpline can be reached by calling 1-800-342-3377. Department staff will continue to monitor the utility’s efforts during the restoration period.
How to Contact PSEG LI: Call 1-800-490-0075, or go to www.psegliny.com. The utility can provide customers with storm and safety information or customers can call the Department’s Call Center for information.