Let there be light: Power returns to Niagara Countyby jmaloni
Electricity gradually returned Saturday afternoon and evening to the homes of National Grid customers in Niagara County that were dark following Friday's storm.
As of 9:30 p.m., less than 1,000 homes were waiting to receive electricity. Just 12 hours earlier, more than 5,000 homes in Lewiston alone were without power. National Grid reported that, at the storm's peak, about 75,000 customers in upstate New York were left in the dark. About 28,500 customers were in the Western New York region - primarily in Erie and Niagara counties.
When asked what triggered the blackout, a representative from National Grid said, "We had or still have damage in all levels of our network, from high voltage transmission lines down to individual customer issues. All crews in and working with additional crews from other parts of the state on their way."
Crews teamed with municipal workers to replace broken poles and repair downed wires throughout the storm-affected regions.
"This was a fast moving, but very severe storm that came with extremely high winds and caused extensive damage to our electric system," said Ken Daly, National Grid president, New York state. "We remain in close contact with local emergency response teams and local officials as we move from damage assessment to restoration efforts today."
WGRZ reported Niagara Falls had declared a limited state of emergency. Several streets in the Hyde Park and DeVeaux neighborhoods were closed off due to the presence of large, fallen tree limbs.
The Village of Lewiston had large piles of brush on North Fourth and Oneida streets, but removed the debris with minimal traffic diversions.
Joshua Maloni contributed to this report.