National Fuel, NYSEG give safety tips as WNY prepares for possible flooding, storms

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — With a flood watch taking effect across western New York at 2 p.m., National Fuel released some tips for those who could experience flooding.

Find the tips below:

  • If flooding has affected customers’ natural gas appliances (furnaces, hot water tanks, etc.), they should not attempt to re-light the pilot lights on that equipment. If the furnace or hot water tank controls were submerged, the floodwater may have caused damage that could affect the safe operation of the equipment. A qualified contractor should be called to inspect the appliances.
  • While the basement is flooded, customers should NOT attempt to adjust any gas equipment or their gas meters.
  • Customers should not turn on any gas valve that has been turned off by National Fuel or emergency personnel when flooding has occurred. Once the water has subsided, contact National Fuel at 1-800-365-3234, and the company will test and restore the service at no charge to its customers. Appliances affected by floodwater will remain turned off and the customer will be required to contact a heating contractor or plumber to verify that the equipment will operate safely.
  • As always, if you smell gas, leave fast! If a rotten-egg natural gas odor is present, leave the premises immediately without turning on or off any electrical appliances and call National Fuel’s emergency line at 1-800-444-3130 from a different location. If you smell an odor of gas outdoors, please call this number and provide the address nearest to the site of the odor. Representatives are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to receive emergency calls.

Monday afternoon, NYSEG and RG&E also released tips amid the potential for flooding, as well as tips for safety during thunderstorms. They are listed below:

Thunderstorm safety tips:

  • Stay away from downed power lines
  • Even lines that appear dead can be dangerous
  • NYSEG customers should call 1.800.572.1131 to report downed power lines or other hazardous     situations
  • RG&E customers should call 1.800.743.1701.

Flooding safety tips:

  • If flooding of a home or business has already occurred or is about to occur, customers should contact their utility companies to have electricity and natural gas service turned off.
  • Customers should never attempt to turn off electricity and natural gas service.
  • Stay out of flooded basements. Energized wiring or outlets below the water line may pose a hazard; natural gas service in a flooded basement may also pose a danger.
  • To have NYSEG or RG&E electricity service restored once flood waters have receded: Customers should contact an electrician to make sure that it is safe to have electricity service turned on before contacting their utility.
  • If the main fuse box or circuit breaker box has been under water, it must be inspected by a Certified Electrical Inspector before service can be restored.
  • Someone must be present for service to be turned on, the basement must be free of water and the electrical panel must be clean and free of debris.
  • Customers and contractors should never attempt to turn on electricity service.

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