BUFFALO, N.Y. — National Grid and NYSEG have brought in additional crews to help keep you and your family safe as strong winds come through in Western New York.
"We do have extra crews, and they're scattered about even extending as far east as Syracuse and north of Syracuse," says David Bertola with National Grid.
National Grid says it's ready for the wind and to get your power back on if it goes out.
"Don't assume that we know your power is out. If you can get to a phone, and you're a National Grid customer, call the number on your bill," says Bertola
An outage map on National Grid's website shows you when crews expect to restore power.
"Key word there is estimated. If we say it's at 8 p.m., might be 9 p.m., but usually we're pretty accurate," says Bertola.
Or you might check the website, and it says crews are assessing the outage. Bertola explained what that means.
As of 9:45am Friday, there are about 4,500 National Gird customers without power. The majority are in Niagara County.
There are about 900 NYSEG customers without power, with the majority being in Clarence.
"They're taking a look at it, and if you keep refreshing the page every, I think it refreshes itself or updates itself every 15 minutes, at some point that time of day will become clear," he says.
Last month, Governor Andrew Cuomo criticized utilities, particularly NYSEG, when he visited Western New York. He said previous storms have shown they need to be more responsive during severe weather.
"I want the utilities to hear me today: we expect a better level of service than we have been getting from the utility companies in terms of communication of the communication of the problem and resolution of the problem," said Cuomo.
NYSEG told us then that they start talking with customers before storms start, are in touch with local governments during the storm, and that customers should sign up for outage alerts. NYSEG wasn't available to speak with us Thursday - even on the phone - and sent us a press release saying they're staging additional resources.
Both companies say they'll give updates during the bad weather online, so that means you need to make sure your phone is charged in case you lose power.