Irene recovery in Rockland, Orange and Westchester

August 30, 2011 5:02:49 PM PDT
Orange and Rockland Utilities says thousands of its customers could be without electricity for days.

The utility said about 8,700 customers were without power on Tuesday morning.

Spokesman Michael Donovan tells the Journal News that most customers will have power restored by midnight Friday, and the remainder over the weekend.

Rockland County suffered damaged roads and bridges, and flooded neighborhoods from Tropical Storm Irene. National Guard units were deployed to western Ramapo.

The utility's response is being criticized by County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef and County Legislator Ed Day.

Donovan said O&R is doing the best it can. He noted that there were more than 30,000 customers without power on Sunday night.

Wayne C. Booth, Supervisor of the Town of Newburgh, has asked all residents and businesses in the Town of Newburgh whose water is supplied by the Town's Consolidated Water District, to please voluntarily conserve water until further notice.

The voluntary conservation of water is necessitated by the fact that the Delaware Aqueduct, the Town's primary water source, has temporarily been placed off line due to the high turbidity of the water caused by Hurricane Irene.

Supervisor Booth is confident that town households will respond favorably to this request, and hopes that the voluntary conservation request will be lifted soon.

Health officials say Westchester residents should avoid contact with the Hudson River because of sewage spill due to Tropical Storm Irene.

The Journal News reports that the county Health Department says rains from Irene had overwhelmed the North Yonkers Pump Station and dislodged a manhole cover. That caused sewage to spill into the Hudson.

Officials have not yet determined the amount of the sewage spill.

State police say many roads in the eastern half of the state are affected by flooding and travel is difficult for a 100-mile arc west and south of Albany.

New York State Thruway has reopened northbound between I-287 South Exit 15 and Exit 16 at Harriman and southbound between Newburgh Exit 17 and I-287 South.

Long stretches of the Thruway in the Mohawk Valley remain closed, but authorities say they may partially reopen soon.

Michael Sullivan, a spokesman for the Thruway Authority, says flooding from Tropical Storm Irene is no longer a problem and inspections have been completed without finding any structural problems. But the rushing Schoharie Creek washed away a road and soil under the Thruway overpass built after the original span near Amsterdam, undermined by erosion, washed out in 1987, killing 10 motorists.

Sullivan says workers are draining water pooled under the bridge Tuesday and are ready to replace fill around its pilings. He says the structure itself is undamaged.

The highway is closed eastbound between Exit 34A in Syracuse and Exit 25A near Schenectady. Westbound is closed between Exit 25A and Exit 30 in Herkimer


Call Con Edison directly to report all outages at (800) 75-CONED.
To report downed trees, call 654-6118
For non-emergency issues related to the storm, call 654-2300 or 2-1-1.


If your electric service is interrupted, don't assume that Orange & Rockland Utilities knows about the problem or that your neighbor has called in a report.

Call O&R at 1-877-434-4100 or use the online Electric Outage Report form to report the outage.

Also, if flooding has damaged your home or business and compromised your electric or gas service, treat that situation as an outage and report it to O&R as well.

If you think you smell natural gas, call O&R's Gas Emergency Hotline at 1-800-533-5325.