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Utility: Storm recovery efforts hampered by clogged roads

Utility: Storm recovery efforts hampered by clogged roads

Injured woman rescued near Ticonderoga

CAPITAL REGION -- National Grid crews were finishing power restoration around Great Sacandaga Lake and a few other locations Monday following a Friday night windstorm that knocked out power to 205,000 electric customers across upstate.

The winds knocked out power to thousands across the Capital Region, as limbs and trees came down on power lines and across roads. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Saturday visited the hard-hit village of Cambridge in Washington County, calling out National Guard troops to help clear debris.

The storm rolled through the region around 8 p.m. Friday and packed 60 mph winds, according to the National Weather Service. Some areas, especially in the North Country, also saw thunderstorms and heavy rain.

State Department of Environmental Conservation officers were called at 1 a.m. Saturday to help state police rescue a 60-year-old Tupper Lake woman trapped under a tree at the Putnam Pond state campground, about 10 miles west of Ticonderoga. Downed trees prevented rescuers from being able to drive to the location, but forest rangers reached it by boat, before having to cut through several downed trees to get to the woman. As high winds and rain continued, rangers and volunteer firefighters lifted the tree and moved the woman to the boat, according to the DEC. She was taken by helicopter to a Vermont hospital she was in critical condition Monday, the DEC said in a press release.

Utility crews worked throughout the weekend to restore power, slowed by the number of trees down and the need for crews to clear and re-open roads before restoration could start, said National Grid spokesman Nathan Stone.

While there were 105,000 customers without power in the greater Capital Region at the height of the outages, that number had been reduced to fewer than 1,400 across upstate by Monday afternoon. Edinburg, in northern Saratoga County, was one of the few communities with a large outage, as of late Monday afternoon; restoration was expected Monday night.

Stone said the amount of damage done by the storm, especially north of Albany, slowed the recovery work.

"There was massive damage," Stone said. "You can watch the weather reports and have crews ready, but you don't really know what's going to happen until it hits and you see what happens."

National Grid said it had 2,200 workers responding to the storm, including crews from New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Stone said the outage event was big and prolonged enough that National Grid will need to file a report with the state Public Service Commission. He said the PSC is being notified every four hours on the status of recovery efforts, and he expects National Grid to have to file a report on its storm response.

"We always start with the most critical areas -- the ones with the most customers affected -- and go from there," Stone said. "We appreciate the patience of our customers. Most of them understand that it takes time.

Because of the prolonged outages, dry ice and bottled water were provided by National Grid at the Broadalbin and Corinth fire departments.

Reach Daily Gazette reporter Stephen Williams at 518-395-3086, [email protected] or @gazettesteve on Twitter.

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