South Wales road waited 5 days for power

NYSEG: 99% OF CUSTOMERS SHOULD HAVE POWER NOW

SOUTH WALES, N.Y. -- The power was back on for almost all of Western New Work Sunday night at 11 p.m., with less than 150 homes still without electricity following Wednesday's windstorm

For many people, power wasn't restored until Sunday evening, and NYSEG customers want to know what took so long for power restoration.

Linda and Jim Acquard's house dropped to 48 degrees on Sunday. Even their dog was bundled up.

"We have more layers on, today we had hats. My husband still has his hat on…we're all freezing,” said Linda.

They and their neighbors say NYSEG came Wednesday to remove fuses after a downed powerline started a brush fire, but crews never came back.

Calling was futile.

"You can't talk with a person, you just have that recording, so you get your hopes up,” Linda said.

Other residents of Carpenter Road and Vermont Hill are fed up, too.

"I spent 30 years in emergency generator and switch gear business, so I know the drill. But yeah, five days is pushing it,” said neighbor Lonnie Keller.

“I’m running a generator, down 30 gallons. I put my food in a tote outside, it’s all frozen, even things that shouldn't be, what are you going to do?” said neighbor Debbie Snyder.

This area operates from well water, too, so in addition to no lights and no heat, the residents had no running water. They pumped buckets to be able to use the bathroom.

"It's not a lot of fun, that's for sure. I could use a break from that,” said Jim.

NYSEG said it aimed to have 99 percent of all power back on Sunday night, but for days, this crew felt forgotten.

"I know they're working hard, I appreciate that. But five days? You know, maybe they just forgot that we're up here,” said Linda.

NYSEG spokesperson Rachel Buchanan said broken poles was the biggest issues from Wednesday’s wind storm.

"Poles don't come pre-made, we have to rebuild everything. That takes a lot of time, it takes a lot of crews,” Buchanan said.

Channel 2 first reported on this South Wales neighbors at 6 p.m. Sunday. By 6:25, two trucks had arrived.

"I am so excited, I could cry right now,” Snyder said as two trucks parked near her driveway.

Linda and Jim, who were keeping warm with one generator-powered space heater in their living room, called to say the power came back on at 8 p.m.

Buchanan said NYSEG contracted more than 100 additional crews. She said they're not being released until everyone's power has been restored.

As for the incoming storm Western New York is expecting Monday night, residents worry it's going to be the same thing all over again. Interestingly, NYSEG is not as worried about that, and said it plans on staging crews east of here, in parts of New York expected to get more snow.

© 2017 WGRZ-TV


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