Hudson Valley utility Central Hudson is warning customers to prepare for possible power outages in the wake of thunderstorms expected today and tomorrow.
According to Hudson Valley Weather, from this afternoon until tomorrow morning, scattered thunderstorms are forecast across the region, with heavy rains and gusty winds possible. Highs on Friday and Saturday are expected to reach 93 and 100 degrees, respectively, with humidity ranging from “uncomfortable” to “oppressive.”
Central Hudson is urging customers to prepare by taking precautions in the event of electric service interruptions brought about by storms and conserving energy while staying cool during the heat wave.
“Scattered thunderstorms and heavy rainfall are expected on Wednesday and Thursday, as remnants of Tropical Storm Barry are carried into the region,” said Charles A. Freni, president and CEO of Central Hudson. “As we prepare for the potential of service interruptions as a result of storm activity, so, too, should our customers.”
The company advisers customers to:
- Pay attention to weather advisories, storm outage updates and/or shelter information;
- Charge electronic devices in order to connect with https://StormCentral.CenHud.com;
- Follow Central Hudson on Facebook and Twitter to stay current on storm conditions and service restorations;
- Keep handy a flashlight and fresh batteries;
- Have a battery-powered radio to remain informed of restoration efforts;
- Be alert to the possibility of localized flooding and avoid driving through standing water; and
- Stay at least 30 feet away from downed power lines, and remember that lines may be entangled and hidden in fallen trees or water. Assume all downed lines are live.
“A heat wave is expected to follow, with high temperatures forecasted at the end of the week and through the weekend,” said Freni.
He explained that energy use and costs may rise as residents and businesses rely on air conditioning to keep cool. “The wholesale market price for electricity tends to increase with higher temperatures, which, when combined with higher usage, can raise energy bills,” said Freni. Using appliances efficiently and taking steps to reduce energy use can help manage costs. Ways in which customers can save include:
- Setting thermostats on air conditioners to 78 degrees and higher during times when the home is not occupied, and considering the use of fans to keep cool. Also, changing dirty filters on air conditioners will help the unit run more efficiently;
- Turning off lights and appliances when not in use, and unplugging electronic devices, such as televisions, entertainment systems and computers, that continue to draw power even when off. Some devices use up to 25 watts of “standby power” when idle, and approximately 10 percent of the total energy used by homes powers devices that are not in use. Plugging these devices into a power strip and then switching off the strip when the devices are not used is a convenient and effective way to reduce standby power;
- Using large appliances such as dishwashers and clothes dryers during the evening hours, when overall energy use is less;
- Closing doors, windows, curtains, shades and blinds during the day to seal out the heat and block sunlight when temperatures are at their highest; and
- Keeping refrigerator and freezer doors closed as long as possible, and limiting the time they are opened.