Public Service Commission investigating Southtowns power outage

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A state agency is investigating a power outage that affected more than 25,000 people in the Southtowns early Sunday morning.

Governor Andrew Cuomo says a “high capacity” line came down on several other lines, causing damage to three transmission stations in Hamburg. Crews responded to fix the issue, and the affected residents all had power restored by Sunday afternoon.

The New York State Public Service Commission is looking into the incident.

“It could be as simple as the gusts of wind had an effect on a piece of equipment,” said Cuomo. “It may be an equipment failure. I don’t know. But it’s somethign that we’re going to find out.”

By Sunday evening, power outages for both National Grid and NYSEG were minimal and scattered. The National Weather Service reported wind gusts reached 57 miles per hour at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport just before 5:30 p.m.

In Cheektowaga, the wind caused damage to the sign at the Mighty Taco on Walden Ave.

“If it’s going to go, it’s going to go pretty soon,” commented John Miller just seconds before the wind tore the sign apart.

“Oh there it goes!” he exclaimed as it was ripped to the Walden Ave. pavement. “There it goes! Look at it! There it goes dude!”

Ken Kujawa, the Western New York Regional Director for National Grid, said crews were mobilized throughout the day to take care of any widespread power issues. Besides the situation in Hamburg, there were none across Western New York. Kujawa said officials will immediately begin preparing for mother nature’s next punch.

“This coming Wednesday, we have a storm drill with the other utilities, New York State, and Erie County where we will go through a simulated event.”

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