ALBANY >> With high temperatures this week, more than 3,000 people were without power Tuesday night and Wednesday in the Pine Hills section of Albany, around Madison Avenue. This included about 400 seniors. The cause of the outage is still being determined, officials said.
On Tuesday at around 8:45 p.m., National Grid received reports of outages, with 2,700 without power. Crews found a manhole cover on Madison Avenue had dislodged a few feet from the hole.
Nate Stone with National Grid said that this was likely due to a cable failure.
No fire was reported and Albany Fire Department was on scene. National Grid picked up customers around 10 p.m. from an alternate power source while crews remained on scene to make repairs.
Then, at about 2 a.m., there were further reports of an outage in the same general location of about 2,400 customers, with some the same customers as from the earlier outage. As of Wednesday evening, National Grid crews were on scene attempting to locate the cause.
“The 2 a.m. outage does not appear to be related to the outage Tuesday night,” said National Grid spokesman Patrick Stella. “Underground issues like this are sometimes more difficult to locate if we do not have a smoking manhole or other issue that would give us an indication of cause, so our crews are checking the underground lines to find cause of outage, this can be time consuming.”
All but around 300 customers from the 2 a.m. outage were restored around 6:30 a.m. by moving those customers to an alternate power source. Crews continue to search for cause and Stella estimated they could be without power until Thursday.
Some classes at the College of Saint Rose were affected by the power outage.
There were three senior housing developments affected and about 400 students at the College of Saint Rose were still without power Wednesday, with plans for students to sleep in the air conditioned gymnasium.
Senior citizens were expected to move to a large gym at UAlbany while generators were brought in, said Stone.
There were 378 seniors affected by the outage, said Albany Fire Deputy Chief Joseph Toomey.
“We’re all working as a team,” said Toomey of working with the Albany Police, National Grid, Albany County, the Red Cross, and CDTA, which provided a cooling station. Water and ice were also delivered Wednesday by county officials.
With temperatures around 90-degrees at times on Wednesday, the City of Albany set up cooling shelters and National Grid was working with the Red Cross to set up a possible location for meals in the neighborhood later Wednesday.
National Grid was also working to get back-up generators to some of the most critical customers in the neighborhood, said Stella, noting that a generator at at least one of the assisted living facilities was not working properly.
Stone said: “The problem is bigger than we initially thought. We’ve isolated where the problem is - around Madison and Partridge - but still figuring out the cause. It could have been the heat.”
“If we can get generators into the area, we may be able to restore power to some customers later [Wednesday night],” added Stella.