Capital Region

Monday heat brings severe weather, power outages

Saratoga Springs among areas hit
Downed trees block West Harrison Street in Saratoga Springs on Monday.
Downed trees block West Harrison Street in Saratoga Springs on Monday.

CAPITAL REGION — Monday’s heat and severe weather brought power outages and other challenges to local emergency responders. 

The storm left more than 3,800 residents without power in Saratoga Springs as of 10 p.m. on Monday, according to National Grid’s website.

By 6 a.m. Tuesday, an estimated 2,200 people remained without power throughout the region, according to the National Grid website. Many of those were in the Saratoga Springs area. All were expected to have their power restored by 6 p.m. on Tuesday, officials said.

Monday’s high temperature of 97 tied the record for the date, set in 1957. The National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm watch for a large swath of the state, including the Schenectady area, Monday afternoon.

According to Saratoga Springs police Lt. Robert Jillson, most of those without power were on the city’s West side.

Schuylerville had 273 residents without power as of 10 p.m. on Monday. They were expected to have their power restored by 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Around 5 p.m., emergency crews were working to clear fallen trees on Route 9N, on Route 50 between Wilton and Saratoga Springs and on Veterans Way in Saratoga Springs. Trees also reportedly fell on homes along Ballston Avenue, Hamilton Street and Saint Charles Place in Saratoga.

There were also trees down on Broadway into downtown, and Brooke Road was blocked entirely near the intersection with Route 9, according to Jillson. 

The severe weather watch came after heat advisories were issued Monday morning for the broader Capital Region and Mohawk Valley. Air quality alerts were also in effect to the east, just over the Massachusetts border, according to the National Weather Service.

“People who are sensitive to heat and particulates in the air like pollen, they’re going to have a hard time breathing today,” said Jennifer Vogt Miller, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, on Monday. “It’s gonna feel more like 100 or 105 degrees today … People should limit their time outside, wear lighter clothes and drink plenty of water.” 

Ozone levels generally decrease at night, and officials said curtailing car traffic during the day can help reduce the risk of excess levels during the day. 

Residents were urged Monday to take mass transit whenever possible, keep air conditioners set at 78 degrees or warmer or use fans to cool their homes, as well as reducing any outdoor burning. 

Nathan Stone, a spokesman for National Grid, added that lowering the temperature on an air conditioning unit by just a few degrees is a good idea. 

“We have the energy that we need to supply everybody, but on days like today [monday], we want to help people lower their consumption to save money,” Stone said. 

Another simple way to save money at home, Stone said, was to escape the heat in places that already have substantial AC, such as malls or movie theaters.

According to John Quinlan of the National Weather Service, the stifling heat was to be short-lived. 

“This is going to be a one-day deal,” he said Monday. 

Overall, the month has been a half-degree above average and drier than normal, after May delivered 2 inches of rain below average for that month, according to the Weather Service. 

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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