While utility workers toiled feverishly Monday, Aug. 29 to repair dozens of downed power lines and burned-out transformers in the region damaged by Tropical Storm Irene, local municipal employees worked long hours to assess damage to infrastructure, conduct repairs and clean up roadways.
A day after the storm descended on the area early Sunday morning, National Grid representatives described how extensive the damage was.
National Grid spokesman Patrick Stella said that in the company’s territory in eastern/central New York, 140,000 households and businesses lost power Sunday due to the storm, and of these, 120,000 remained without power at 9:30 a.m. Monday. An estimated 55,000 people were left without power in Warren, Washington, Essex and Saratoga counties.
At that time, he said it would take days to restore power to all areas. Power in Lake George village was restored late Monday afternoon.
Stella said about 700 line crews, or nearly 3,000 utility repair workers, were on duty — most all through the night — assessing damage or attempting to restore power. The crews were working on 16 to 18 hour shifts.
As of 9:30 a.m. Monday, still lacking power were 17,400 homes and businesses in Warren County, 21,000 in Saratoga County, 4,900 in Essex County, and 3,3000 in Washington County, Stella said.
“One of the big challenges is flooding, as there are still a lot of road closures, and travel to the affected sites will be challenging,” he said.
Utility crews were brought in from as far away as Iowa, Ohio and Tennessee to work on restoring power, he said.
The Lake George Village Hall was dark Monday morning, but the town hall was fully operational due to its generator backup system.
Lake George Town Supervisor Frank McCoy said early Monday that highway workers of both the town and village were busy working to clean up the debris on roadways, which included downed limbs, gravel and silt. Tons of sand and gravel was deposited on several roads including Rte. 9 north of the village and Dieskau St. downtown, when the roadways were turned into rushing rivers as floodwaters veered out of stream beds.