Repair crews from National Grid played a waiting game Monday evening, as strong, potentially damaging winds were possible in some parts of the Capital Region.
Strong gusts meant the potential for trees and tree limbs falling into power lines, and interrupting electrical service.
"Spring isn't coming in the way it's supposed to," said Nate Stone, a spokesman for the power and gas utility. "The rain isn't our problem, it's the wind at this point, and strong winds, too. In some places, it's been like 40, 50 mph."
At 6:45 p.m., according to National Grid's outage map, 22,155 customers were without power. Crews had 341 outages to correct.
National Grid's biggest problem Monday in the Capital Region was Rensselaer County, where 1,013 customers were still without power at 6:45 p.m.
In Schoharie County, 117 customers had been restored by early evening, to clear the area.
Other communities mentioned on National Grid's power outages map were Albany, Saratoga and Fulton counties (all less than five customers). Schenectady and Montgomery County had zero outages
Winds and heavy rain kept crews busy in Oswego and Oneida counties during the morning and afternoon. By early evening, 7,907 power customers in Oswego were still without power; in Oneida, 5,449 had no electricity.
"It's widespread out there," Stone said of central New York. "We've got people out there who have been on stand-by since Saturday, when this was originally supposed to be ice storms. They're doing repairs and the wind is coming this way."
National Grid expects weather-related trouble during the winter, and officials know conditions can wreak havoc during the early spring. "It's not unusual in the long term," Stone said, "but I haven't seen it in a while."
Meteorologists with the National Weather Service in Albany said a wind advisory for parts of the area was in effect until 8 p.m.
"Winds could gust up to 50 mph," said meteorologist Brian Montgomery.
While some people may have felt wind Monday night, they have been feeling cold temperatures for most of April.
"For the month so far, we're at 8.4 degrees below normal," Montgomery said. "It has been cold."
High temperatures for mid-April should be around 58 degrees, Montgomery said. "For most of the month, it's been generally in the 40s," he added.
Power lines may have been at risk Monday. Residents of the Stockade, affected when the Mohawk flooded this winter, will be able to sleep soundly after a day of often heavy rain.
"At the moment, we don't see any significant rises on the Mohawk itself," Montgomery said. "In some areas, we've seen rainfall and snow melt adding to increased water levels in certain spots. We have not seen that in the Mohawk basin."
Warmer weather is forecast for the weekend. So are cloudy skies.
"Temperatures will remain rather cool over the several days with plenty of clouds," read the forecasters' discussion on the National Weather Service (Albany) web page. "Another storm will bring some more rain and snow to the region for Wednesday night into Thursday."
Power customers are reminded to never touch downed power lines -- they should always assume downed lines carry live electricity.
Downed lines should be immediately reported to National Grid at 1-800-867-5222 or by calling 911.
Reach Gazette reporter Jeff Wilkin at 518-395-3124 or at [email protected]