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Incoming storm could slow restoration of power

Incoming storm could slow restoration of power

Utility crews working to restore power to about 41,000 customers who are still in the dark may have
Incoming storm could slow restoration of power
National Grid chief line mechanic Mike Castler works along Rosa Road in Schenectady on Monday morning.
Photographer: Marc Schultz

Utility crews working to restore power to about 41,000 customers who are still in the dark may have a new worry by later tonight - snow.

The National Weather Service said snow will develop tonight and continue through the night, with a total accumulation of 3 to 6 inches. Freezing rain or sleet will mix in Wednesday morning, though National Weather Service meteorologist Joe Villani said the area won't see much ice accumulation.

"We are looking at the weather forecast and any adverse weather could impact the restoration," said National Grid spokesman Patrick Stella, who said the goal is to have all power restored by Wednesday night.

National Grid estimates that about 33,000 customers remain without power, according to its Storm Central web page at www.nationalgridus.com/niagaramohawk/. That number includes about 17,700 customers in Albany County, 10,000 in Rensselaer County, 1,400 in Saratoga County, 2,500 in Schenectady County, 600 in Schoharie County and 925 in Washington County.

Stella said any homes near heavily wooded areas found in suburbs of Schenectady and Albany will pose a particular challenge for crews after it snows.

Anyone who does not have power should call National Grid at 800-867-5222 to help the utility pinpoint remaining outages.

"We are concerned about the snow in the forecast. As far as restoration, it could cause some additional problems getting into remote areas," said NYSEG spokesman Jim Salmon. The other concern is that because of the weakened condition of the trees, the weight of the snow could result in additional tree limbs coming down."

"Snow would be better, than sleet or freezing rain because of the weight factor," said Salmon.

New York State Electric & Gas has about 7,900 customers who remain without service in its Mechanicville Division, which includes parts of Saratoga, Washington, Rensselaer and Columbia counties.

Officials from both utilities have said they expect service to be completely restored by Wednesday or Thursday.

Meanwhile, officials from the American Red Cross said they closed down their shelters in Saratoga and Washington counties at 1 p.m. today. Shelters remain open at these locations:

Albany County

Colonie Village Hall, 2 Thunder Road, Albany

Rensselaer County

Tsatsawassa Fire Company, 9 Fire House Lane, Route 20, Brainard

Hudson Valley Community College Field House, 80 Vandenburgh Ave., Troy

Schenectady County

Union College Memorial Field House, 807 Union St., Schenectady

Call 458-8111 or visit www.redcrossneny.org for an up-to-date listing.

In addition, NYSG is distributing dry ice and bottled water beginning at 9 a.m. today at Halfmoon Town Hall, 2 Halfmoon Town Plaza.

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