Power Back for Most Customers After New York Fire Leaves Thousands in the Dark

Thousands of people had their power restored early Friday morning after a fire at a substation north of New York City left them in the dark for hours. 

The fire broke out at a substation in Putnam County at 9:30 p.m. Thursday night, cutting power to nearly 60,000 people. 

Only 660 customers were without power at 1 a.m., according to utility NYSEG. More than 500 of those customers were in Putnam County. Another 47 customers were in Westchester. 

Just hours earlier, more than 35,000 customers were without power in Putnam County. Another 14,000 customers were without power in Westchester County. Dutchess County has more than 9,000 outages, NYSEG said. 

The fire apparently started at the Carmel substation on Secor Road in Mahopac at 9:30 p.m. and then spread to other substations. Mahopac Falls volunteer firefighters were able to bring the blaze under control. 

An NYSEG spokesman said late Thursday night that the utility had begun conducting switching operations to bypass the substations. He said power would come back online within hours.

In a statement released early Friday, state Senator Terrence Murphy said there was an explosion at the substation in Mahopac. Murphy expressed concern with the utilities' response, saying they had not reached out about the outage.

"I'm concerned I haven't heard from Con Edison or NYSEG when I have 65,000 constituents without electricity," Murphy said in the statement. 

The statement said that NYSEG's website had overloaded because of the outages and that the site wasn't displaying ETRs (estimated time of restoration).

Murphy drove up and toured the Carmel substation Thursday night as power was being restored. He said he met with utility workers who were in the middle of restoring power and spoke with NYSEG officials, who "assured me we will work together to improve communications protocols with both my office and the public in the future." 

The remaining outages are expected to be fixed sometime Friday morning.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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