Extremely strong winds on Friday could lead to power outages throughout the region, officials warn.

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Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation is advising local residents to be prepared for storms and potentially strong, gusty winds forecasted on Friday which could cause electric service interruptions and hazardous conditions.

"Our customers should be prepared for the possibility of strong, gusty winds today as a cold front moves through our region," Assistant Vice President of Electric Engineering and Operations at Central Hudson Ryan Hawthorne said in a press release. “We are closely monitoring the weather and are prepared to respond in the event of power interruptions.

The National Weather Service issued a wind advisory for parts of the region until 6 p.m. on Friday and warns winds will be 15 to 25 miles per hour with gusts up to 50 mph. The wind advisory is not in effect for Orange or Dutchess counties, but winds over 20 miles per hour are expected with gusts around 40 miles per hour.

“In this current environment, our electric line crews and support staff are practicing social distancing to keep our employees and the public safe as we address any emergency,” Hawthorne said. “We also realize many of our customers are at home and rely more than ever on electric service for essential services and to stay connected. In the event of power outages, we are committed to restoring power as quickly and safely as possible. Our customers are also advised to prepare and take precautions. Strong winds could damage trees and utility poles, bring down power lines and cause outages and dangerous conditions.”

Hawthorne stressed that residents should stay at least 30 feet away from downed power lines, and remember that lines may be entangled and hidden in fallen trees and limbs.

“Assume all downed lines are live and keep a wide distance from fallen trees and limbs,” he said.

Hudson Valley Weather says Friday will be windy and cold with a flurry possible. Winds are expected to be 10 to 20 miles per hour.

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