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Thousands Still Without Power As Restoration Work Continues

Downed tree limbs in Albany
Dave Lucas
Downed tree limbs in Albany

Wednesday’s powerful storms downed trees and knocked out power for hundreds of thousands in the WAMC listening area.

The storm that brought heavy rain and record wind gusts of 68 miles per hour at Albany International Airport continues to affect thousands of utility customers.

Dahn Bull, Highway Superintendent for the Town of Clifton Park in southern Saratoga County, said crews were working around the clock to clear roads for utility trucks.

“We do have many trees down in our open and main roads and our neighborhoods are full of downed trees,” said Bull.  

One person was killed in Clifton Park during the storm. New York State Police say 24-year-old William Oates was driving on Pierce Road around 4:30 p.m., when a tree came down on his vehicle.

National Grid says 200,000 customers lost electricity Wednesday, with about 75,000 restored overnight.

Utility spokesperson Virginia Limmiatis says Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Columbia, and Montgomery Counties were hardest hit.

“Cleanup, reconstruction and restoration will be labor intensive and time-consuming, with some outages in the hardest-hit areas of Eastern New York extending beyond 48 hours,” said Lammiatis.  

For National Grid customers without power, the utility is distributing dry ice through Saturday, at Crossgates Mall in Guilderland, the Schenectady Highway Department at 100 Kellar Avenue, and at the Pittstown Rescue Squad at 60 Parker School Road.

Utility NYSEG says 72,000 lost power Wednesday, with about 10,000 still without electricity Thursday afternoon, about 9,300 in the Mechanicville and Oneonta areas. Spokesman Ridge Harris:

“We are dispatching crews from around the state into the Mechanicville and Oneonta divisions and we have 1,100 field resources on the ground to work on restoration efforts,” said Harris.

Central Hudson said as of 3 p.m., service was restored to nearly 22,900 of the more than 26,000 customers affected, with the majority of outages located in Greene, Ulster, and Albany Counties.

The storms in eastern New York continued across southern New England Wednesday afternoon.

In Western Massachusetts, utility Eversource said crews from Canada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire are arriving to help restore power.

Spokesman Reid Lamberty says 40,000 customers in the western part of the state lost power, with about 10,000 still without service Thursday afternoon.

“Just over 80 roads there were blocked, about 70 of our utility poles that were broken, about 7 miles of power line down that has to be re-hung…”

Lamberty said damage is widespread. The last of customers should have power restored by noon Saturday, most before then.

In Great Barrington, a golf professional was killed in the storm. The Berkshire Eagle reports Thomas Sullivan died when a tree fell onto his golf cart at a country club just after 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

National Grid is distributing dry ice at the following locations: 


Schenectady County Department of Engineering and Public Works

100 Kellar Ave, Schenectady, NY 12306

Thursday: 2-6 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 9: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Saturday, October 10: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.


Crossgates Mall Parking Lot (adjacent to Macy’s Dept Store)

1 Crossgates Mall Road

Guilderland, NY 12203

Thursday: 2-6 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 9: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Saturday, October 10: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.


Pittstown Rescue Squad

60 Parker School Road

Johnsonville, NY 12084

Thursday: 2-6 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 9: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Saturday, October 10: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Lucas Willard is a news reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011. He produces and hosts The Best of Our Knowledge and WAMC Listening Party.
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