Power Fully Restored After Major Outage

10:59 PM, Aug 16, 2011   |    comments
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  • Budwey cashier holds hand-made sign outside store at Kenmore and Englewood, advising customers store is closed due to outage.
  • National Grid crews at Kenmore and Starin Avenues, alleged source of outage.

BUFFALO, NY - National Grid has restored power to over 18,000 residents in North Buffalo, Kenmore and the Town of Tonawanda, some of whom had lost it for up to five hours starting late Tuesday morning.

Susan Forbes was in her University Avenue home when the power went out at approximately 10:50 AM.

"I was just heading down to the basement to see if we blew a breaker or something. Well, just about that time everybody starts coming out of their houses and we all started talking about how none of us had power," Forbes told WGRZ-TV.

"Then I got a call from a friend who lives down near Delaware and Great Arrow and that's when I realized that it was a lot more wide spread than just our neighborhood," Forbes said.

Initially some 18,200 customers lost power in the outage, according to National Grid spokesman Steve Brady, who says it was caused when a contractor working on behalf of the utility near the intersection of Kenmore and Starin Avenues, clipped three underground cables.

"That, in turn, took out three substations so we had an outage of a little more than 18,000 customers in an area from roughly Military Road, down along Kenmore Avenue , all the way to Main Street into Getzville," Brady told 2 on Your Side.

As cars crept through intersections sans traffic signals, Michelle Bouton took to the parking lot of a Budwey supermarket near Kenmore and Englewood Avenues, where she works as a cashier.
She held a hastily made sign with words scrawled on a grocery bag, advising customers the store was closed due to the outage. "I'm just trying to keep busy. It's not any fun standing around," she  explained.

Meanwhile, back on University Avenue, Susan Forbes and her mother enjoyed a picnic lunch on their porch, a repast replete with a relic, reminiscent of another outage under much different circumstances.

Pointing to an emergency, battery operated radio on the table near a tray of cheese, cold cuts, and crackers, she recalled, "it was purchased because of the October (2006) Surprise storm...and once again it's come in handy today."

Click on the video player to watch our story from 2 On Your Side Reporter Dave McKinley and Photojournalist Dooley O'Rourke.

Click here to read Dave McKinley's latest blog. 

WGRZ-TV, wgrz.com

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