Following the storm, the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) expressed concern about the number of utility poles in the RG&E service territory that were damaged.
According to the PSC, more than 150 poles were damaged due to the severe wind storm Wednesday night. The total number of poles in the RG&E service territory is 250,000.
The PSC says that, based on the National Electric Safety Code, a new utility pole should be able to withstand 50-60 mile per hour winds. Wednesday night’s storm had wind gusts ranging from 45 to 65 miles per hour.
The Commission requires electric utilities to inspect their electric facilities, including poles, at least once every five years.
James Denn with the New York State Public Service Commission released the following statement:
Although it represents a tiny fraction of the total poles, the PSC is concerned about the higher-than-usual number of utility poles that were damaged as a result of the wind storm this week in the RG&E service territory; as a result, we will conduct a full and complete investigation to determine what went wrong, and whether the utility should be held accountable.