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Thousands still without power following Friday storm

Thousands still without power following Friday storm

All electric service expected to be restored by midnight Tuesday
Thousands still without power following Friday storm
Keith Nautel runs helps a friend clean up his yard after a tree toppled on Friday night along Lynnwood Drive in Niskayuna.
Photographer: Marc Schultz

Thousands in the Capital Region were still without power Sunday night following a Friday storm that knocked down trees and power lines.

According to the outage map found on National Grid's website, the majority of those live in Saratoga County, where about 1,700 customers were still without power. They are expected to have their service restored by 11:59 p.m. on Monday, according to the website.

Fulton County reportedly had more than 1,000 customers without power Sunday night. They are also expected to have their power restored by 11:59 p.m. Monday.

The number spiked around 9 p.m. Sunday due to repairs, said National Grid spokeswoman Karen Polise. Those customers were expected to have power restored by 11 p.m. 

National Grid, though, said it had restored power to approximately 186,000 of the 203,000 of its customers statewide who lost power, according to a press release issued earlier in the day.

Polise explained that the restoration figures indicate when the last person in the county is expected to have his or her power restored. She said other residents could see their power turned on sooner than that.

The severity of Friday’s storm -- which brought 70 mph winds in some areas, according to the press release -- was what caused nearly 50,000 people in the Capital Region to lose power, according to Polise.

“The severity of the storm really just knocked down a lot of trees and broke poles,” Polise said. “It was very widespread.”

To work on the outages, National Grid had more than 2,200 line, service and tree workers out doing repairs, according to the press release.

Saratoga County Sheriff Michael Zurlo praised National Grid, and New York State Electric and Gas (NYSEG) crews, for their work in restoring power to residents. He said places in the county that suffered the most power outages included the towns of Malta, Edinburg and Day.

People still seemed prepared for the outages, Zurlo said, as he said those areas usually lose power when storms come through.

“People are kind of used to this,” Zurlo said. “They’ve prepared themselves.”

In Fulton County, though, there were approximately 8,000 without power following the storm Friday, according Steve Santa Maria, its civil defense and fire coordinator.

There was a station set up by National Grid at the Broadalbin Fire Department, where people could get dry ice and bottled water. This was offered to other counties in its coverage area as well. Residents can get dry ice and water at the Broadalbin Fire Department on Monday between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Schenectady County also saw more than 100 customers without power, with many of them residing in Niskayuna.

During the mid-afternoon on Sunday, there were two Lewis Tree Service trucks and two National Grid trucks spotted performing repairs and cleanup.

Niskayuna Town Board Member Denise Murphy McGraw was one of those residents without power on Sunday. She said most of her neighborhood, Rosendale Estates, was without power.

She said her daughter, who is in the middle of studying for tests for the end of the school year, had to go to Starbucks to do her work. However, she understood that their situation was not a bad one.

“We aren’t seniors, our health is good,” McGraw said. “But we do have a fridge full of food that will be tossed.”

Troy and Christina Bradshaw, who live just up the road, had a nearly 30-foot oak tree fall in their yard. Luckily, family friend Keith Nautel, a Plum Street resident, was there with a chainsaw to cut it up.

Nautel said his neighborhood still had power and that the storm seemed to target one specific area of the town. But when he drove through the Bradshaws' neighborhood and saw what happened with their tree, he offered to help.

“People have been stopping by to get firewood,” Nautel said.

The Bradshaws, who are originally from North Carolina, seemed unfazed. As they cooked on their gas stove by flashlight and natural light for their three kids, they said intense storms are something they’re used to. But what they weren’t used to was how long the power was out.

“The storm wasn’t that bad,” Christina said.

They said the worst of the storm came just as they arrived home Friday following a Toys R’ Us run. Troy said when he unloaded the car and came back inside, he heard a boom. The power was out, and their tree was down.

“I heard a huge gust of wind and went and looked at the tree because I was worried about it,” Christina said.

Troy said he called 911 because the tree had fallen across the road, almost into their neighbor’s yard.

“We felt bad about it,” Christina said.

McGraw said power was restored to her neighborhood around 4:30 p.m.

National Grid's outage map did indicate there were fewer a handful of customers in Schenectady County without power as of Sunday night. They're expected to have their power restored by 11:59 p.m. Monday.

Temporary shutdown

Some 3,000 residents  in Montgomery County experienced power outages again on Sunday night -- but that was planned. 

While many had it restored since Friday, National Grid warned residents just before they had to cut the power again around 6:30 p.m. to make some repairs, according to county Emergency Management Office Director Jeff Smith.

“They certainly don’t want to inconvenience people on purpose,” Smith said.

Polise said crews needed to cut power to repair poles feeding a substation. She said residents would see power restored within three to four hours.

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