Some 37,000 customers were still without power late Friday as National Grid worked to restore service to the nearly 242,000 homes and businesses who lost service after a storm with winds measured at 68-miles-per-hour ripped through the region.
Schenectady, Albany, Troy and Hudson were among the hardest hit areas, Virginia Limmiatis, a spokesperson for National Grid said Friday. The power company hopes to have the majority of those 57,000 customers’ power restored by late Saturday night, she said.
“Our continued restoration process is going to remain overnight work,” Limmiatis said. “We’re continuing to be committed to increasing our complement of crews in the field. Our field workers will remain in the field in restoration until the last customer is restored.”
For residents wondering why National Grid’s Upstate NY Power Outage Map might appear to show old data, Limmiatis said that the online map is normally updated every 15 minutes on a typical day. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were not typical, and as result, the map was updated less frequently.
“We’re talking about a major storm,” Limmiatis said. “When customers are restored, the data is updated. It’s based on the success of the crews making that restoration.”
National Grid is still using the help of contractors to restore power in the field, and Limmiatis said while there could be some customers without power on Sunday, their goal is to get power restored to everyone “as quickly as possible.”
“It’s been a vital component to our overall restoration plan,” Limmiatis said. “We are grateful for the added help.”
The outages haven’t just hit homes, they’ve also impacted local businesses. On top of restaurants, stores and activity centers remaining closed this week, daycares — and parents — have also had to adjust. On Balltown Road, Pooh’s Corner Early Childhood Center was closed again on Friday because of the outages.
“We know that this emergency closure in addition to yesterday’s may cause an inconvenience to some of you,” read an email to families from Executive Director Merideth Janke and Assistant Director Duane Hotaling. “However, we must always remain in compliance with the regulations outlined by our licensing agency, Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS). The safety and well-being of your children and our dedicated teaching staff will always be our number one priority. Once the power has been restored for the whole OPWDD Campus, we will let everyone know.”
And while National Grid keeps bringing customers back online, the storm clean-up process is in full swing too.
Schenectady residents can now place any fallen tree branches or limbs from Wednesday’s storm on their curbs for pickup, beginning Tuesday. City officials announced Friday that they are now suspending Schenectady’s usual rules for fallen tree branch collection to help residents address the aftermath.
The City’s Department of General Services’ previously required branches left at the curb to be less than three inches in diameter, four feet or less in length and tied in bundles in order to be collected by city crews. These rules will be suspended starting Tuesday. National Grid will also continue to distribute water and dry ice at the Schenectady County Highway Department on Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
More from The Daily Gazette: