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Storm Slams Dutchess: 'One Of Worst In Last Half Century'

Tens of thousands of Dutchess County residents are without power as Central Hudson crews battle the aftermath of the Nor'easter.
Tens of thousands of Dutchess County residents are without power as Central Hudson crews battle the aftermath of the Nor'easter. Photo Credit: Boyd A. Loving

Crews from Central Hudson Gas and Electric are working overtime to clean up nearly 1,000 reported outages in Dutchess County as the Hudson Valley responds to what a company spokesman called “one of the most damaging Mid-Hudson Valley storms in the last half-century.”

Officials said that as of 5 p.m. on Friday, heavy, wet snow and strong wind gusts continue to bring down root-soaked trees, causing significant damage to the electric system. Nearly 1,000 Central Hudson customers reported outages, which are affecting more than 70,000 individuals.

Central Hudson crews and damage assessment teams are addressing power outages and surveying damage locations. Mutual aid crews from Hydro-Quebec have today to assist in power restoration. In all, more than 300 electric line and tree personnel are clearing roads and repairing storm damage to restore electric service. Additional assistance is being sought from other utility companies, officials stated.

“The potential for snowfall tonight and high wind gusts through Saturday may cause additional damage and power interruptions,” Charles Freni, Senior Vice President of Customer Services and Transmission & Distribution stated. “With the high level of damage sustained so far, we expect repairs to extend through the weekend and likely into next week.”

In an effort to help local residents stay safe, Central Hudson has issued a series of tips for residents:

  • Stay at least 30 feet away from downed power lines, and remember that lines may be entangled and hidden in fallen trees. Assume all downed lines are live;
  • Beware of fallen trees and limbs, and use caution or traveling;
  • Avoid the use of candles for illumination due to fire hazards;
  • Follow the manufacturer's safety instructions on the use of emergency generators, and be sure to shut off the main breaker when in use and operate the units outdoors;
  • Never use outdoor gas or charcoal grills indoors, as they pose a fire hazard and over time can give off deadly carbon monoxide gas; and
  • Operate cars and motor vehicles outdoors only, and never inside the garage.

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