National Grid says ‘focused on restoring service as quickly and safely as possible’

Photo by Tom Rivers: A big tree near the Civil War memorial tower at Mount Albion fell from the punishing winds on Wednesday. Two trees were knocked down at the cemetery, and numerous branches are strewn on the ground.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 March 2017 at 11:40 am

National Grid has more than 1,700 service, line and tree workers out today removing trees, replacing poles, assessing damage and restoring power to customers who lost service after a wind storm with gusts exceeding 70 miles an hour swept across upstate New York.

The company has successfully restored power to more than half of the 147,000 upstate customers impacted by the damaging winds, spokesman Stephen Brady said.

Hardest hit was western New York, where more than 1,100 field workers are focused on assessing damage and restoring power to approximately 71,000 customers who remain without service. The most severe damage was sustained in areas north and east of Buffalo, especially Niagara, Orleans, Genesee and Wyoming counties, Brady said.

The company reported at 11:31 a.m. that 10,948 of its customers in Orleans remain without power. That’s about 60 percent of its 18,221 customers total in the county.

“The company is focused on restoring service as quickly and safely as possible and is conducting a thorough damage assessment and analysis so that accurate restorations times can be determined,” the company said in a news release.

National Grid will make dry ice and bottled water available at the following locations today from noon to 5 p.m.:

• Wrights Corners Fire Company, 4043 Lake Ave., Lockport

• City of Batavia Fire Department, 18 Evans Street, Batavia

• Village Fire Station, 80 Owens Rd., Brockport

“This was a very severe storm that came with extremely high winds and caused extensive damage to our electricity system,” said Melanie Littlejohn, National Grid’s New York vice president. “We remain in close contact with local emergency response teams and local officials as we continue our damage assessment to restoration efforts today.”

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