Thousands wake up without power around Watervliet

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WATERVIET, N.Y. – Thousands of residents around Watervliet woke up without power on Friday – a day that temperatures are expected to hit the mid-90s.

According to National Grid, the power outage occurred around 1:45 a.m. Officials say the outage occurred when an unknown animal got into the substation and caused damage to the equipment.

A total of 3,500 customers were affected. National Grid says the power was restored around 9:30 a.m.

Owners of Mac's Drive In, a popular ice cream shop, went to work early Friday morning to find ice cream melted out of freezers and the temperature in the store nearly 90 degrees. Around the corner at Passonno Paint, they told their hundred or so workers to go home early this morning after the power kept flickering on and off, making today a big loss for business.

National Grid crews worked around the clock to restore power in these areas, but with consumption at an all-time high, people were left to deal with flicking power and hot homes.

“It started getting a little warm and I couldn't hear the hum of the motor and I think I woke up after four and there were no street lights, nothing,” said resident Marlene O'Brien.

The
temperature inside Gianna's Pizzeria was 86 degrees Friday night, the business
normally open until 9:30, but shut because of the power outage. 

“We're
dying in there right now,” says Barbara Gulli, the owner of the
pizzeria.  She says she is worried about the food she has stocked inside,
with no generator to hook up.

“It's
a really bad night to lose, because Friday night is one of our good nights.”

Hundreds
of other people in Watervliet were in Gulli's shoes Friday, trying to get some
reprieve from their hot homes outside, but with little luck.

“It's
very warm,” says Kathy Varin.  “I worry about the dogs and cat.”

“My
house is still a little on the cool side, because I have the central air,”
adds Sharon Batto.  “But there's no movement of air anymore.  So
hopefully soon.”

Residents
say of all days to lose power, Friday had to be the worst.  A record
demand for electricity was broken Friday, Watervliet residents spending the
evening hoping for a break from the heat for more than one reason.

“I
am not a worshipper of this kind of weather,” says Batto.  “I
always say if I wanted to live in Florida, I would move there.”

About 4,000 residents of both Schenectady and Albany Counties had to deal with the heat Thursday night after power went out when, according to National Grid, a primary wire went down. A short time later, power was restored.

You can check out the National Grid Power Outage Map HERE.

 

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