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Rescheduled planned outage in Troy set for Saturday

A National Grid vehicle
Lucas Willard
A National Grid vehicle

A planned outage in the City of Troy affecting around 1,000 customers was postponed during last weekend’s frigid weather. The outage is scheduled for this weekend, but the weather may have the final say again.

Last Friday, a day before a planned outage in the City of Troy and following local outcry, National Grid informed officials that the utility work would be postponed due to frigid temperatures.

Work is now scheduled between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday, when temperatures could be in the teens and a possible snowstorm forecast. That has again raised the concern of Troy City Council President Carmella Mantello.

“I gotta tell you, it's like Groundhog Day, ‘deja vu all over again,’’ said Mantello.

Mantello, a Republican, worries about people in the Eastside neighborhood being put at risk due to the wintry weather. She wrote to the utility and alerted reporters about the planned utility work last weekend, and is again seeking a rain check.

“I truly believe it is common sense for National Grid to wait for a warmer season day to reschedule this planned outage,” said Mantello.

Mantello said she hasn’t gotten an answer from National Grid.

Troy Mayor Patrick Madden, a Democrat, told WAMC his office has been in contact with the utility for the last several weeks.

“My understanding at this point, I was in touch with grid this morning, they're going to have a go/no-go meeting tomorrow morning. And I expect what they're looking at very closely are the projected weather conditions. They don't seem to…I keep an eye on the weather, they don't seem to have changed much over the last 48 hours. We're looking at some light snow on Saturday and temperatures in the teens. So that's very different than the situation was last week.”

National Grid spokesperson Patrick Stella said the utility will make a decision about whether to continue with the work in the coming days.

“This particular weekend, the temperatures are going to be above zero as far as we know, right now. It's something that you know we'll look at though between today and Friday as the weather reports get a little bit more accurate. Of course, we have a nor'easter that's possibly coming up the coast this weekend. We're not exactly sure what the track of that storm is. You know, we're always looking at weather. We're always looking at weather and possible storms,” said Stella.

Stella said the utility for now believes the temperatures will be safe for workers who will be performing the work and customers. He estimates the work to update electrical equipment will take a couple of hours.

“You know, it makes the system more resilient during storms. It's what maintains the system and makes it so our customers can turn the lights on. So it's work that we do every day, 365 days a year,” said Stella.

Mayor Madden said he is one of the 1,000 customers estimated to be impacted by the outage. He says for now he’s OK with National Grid continuing as scheduled.

“I'd kind of like to get this done so I can plan my Saturday accordingly. You know, it's...not knowing whether it's going to happen or not happen until the last minute is a little bit inconvenient. I know my neighbors feel the same way. So I think by and large the people who are affected like to see it happen,” said Madden.

Madden has encouraged Troy residents to sign up for mobile, text, and phone alerts from National Grid.

Lucas Willard is a reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011.