POUND RIDGE, N.Y. – A partnership between the Pound Ridge Police Department and New York State Electric and Gas (NYSEG) is taking the estimating out of power outage data and shortening restoration times.
When NYSEG responds to a storm that damages power lines and utility poles, it must send someone to assess the damage, gather the necessary materials, and then send a separate crew to make the repairs.
After Superstorm Sandy in 2012, the only way to get around town was with an ATV because there were 115 downed utility poles, Police Chief David Ryan said. As a result, NYSEG assessment crews couldn’t get to Pound Ridge for three-to-five days. It originally estimated power would be restored in three-to-five days.
Now, 15 trained Pound Ridge police, fireman and other town employees will assess that damage themselves and send it to NYSEG, which will then send the necessary materials and a crew to make the repairs.
“The goal is to shorten the time from loss of power to restoration,” Ryan said.
Instead of sending repair and replacement materials to its Brewster office, NYSEG now sends it to designated drop off locations in Pound Ridge, which Ryan said also saves time and results in quicker power restoration.
The town police use software that can record and send damage assessments on any of the 3,300 utility poles in town directly to NYSEG. When assessing damage, local personnel can call in the damage to the police department, or directly input it into a tablet with that same software, as well as an internal GPS that can identify the utility pole.
“The faster we get that to NYSEG, the faster they can send repair crews instead of assessment crews,” said Todd Baremore, who created the emergency management software for the town.
The software also allows the police to get more accurate data for power outages during a storm. During the nor’east last Thursday, Ryan said 131 resident lost power, compared to the 343 NYSEG reported. When a customer reports a power outage, NYSEG assumes all of the other houses on that line have also lost power.
Ryan said he hopes neighboring communities also partner with NYSEG.
“If everybody gets on board with that, the hope would be that we would be able to get more accurate real-time data to the people that need it,” he said.