Utility crews finding challenges while turning lights back on

Local News

Utility crews continued to work to restore power Tuesday, more than 24 hours after a vicious wind storm hit Western New York.

At one point or another, about 85,000 National Grid customers lost power. As of 4 p.m. Tuesday, that number was down to 1,175.

More than 100,000 NYSEG customers were affected by the storm, the company reported. Fewer than 500 were still without power as of 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Ken Kujawa, the regional director for National Grid, says some crews are spending time working on homes with rear-lot service. That means the power lines servicing the home are in the backyard.

“What people do is they like to plant trees underneath those wires that are in their backyard,” Kujawa said. “It makes them more susceptible to events like we had this weekend where the wind blows. If it damages our facilities, now we have to work in backyards. We can’t get our trucks back there. So it becomes hand to hand combat. We’re on those jobs, but it increases the amount of time that it takes.”

Kujawa says 95 percent of those affected by the storm should have power back on by midnight Wednesday morning.

NYSEG says all customers in its Lancaster division should have power back by 11:30 Tuesday night.

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