Businesses brace for day-long National Grid power outage on Saturday
Businesses, churches and residents are bracing for a day-long power outage on Saturday. Roughly 7,300 residential and business customers of National Grid in Avon, Caledonia, Lima, and Livonia in Livingston County; Bloomfield and West Bloomfield in Ontario County; and Henrietta, Honeoye Falls, Mendon, and Rush in Monroe County will be impacted by the outage.
The outage is scheduled to begin at 7:30 a.m. and end around 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 6. A spokesman for National Grid says the utility has to make an urgent repair to two poles and the transmission lines that run between them.
On Monday, News10NBC spoke with residents who were notified that they would be impacted by the outage but businesses are bracing for the hit too.
There are signs up at the Honeoye Falls Market letting customers know that it won’t open until 4pm on Saturday due to the outage and it will have a limited selection of perishable food. The manager at the market, Deric West, tells News10NBC that National Grid notified him a few days before Christmas about the planned outage for this weekend.
“Saturday is our largest revenue day so that is a real problem for us because our inventory levels are high then, we have a full staff that day so, we really had to scramble to make some arrangements,” West explains. Those arrangements are both costly and require a lot of manpower. “it was too cost-prohibitive to rent a generator to run the whole store so, what we have to do on Friday is pull anything that you see around the store in a refrigerated case, we have to pull that and put it into a trailer that’s refrigerated, we have two trailers coming,” West says.
The Honeoye Falls Market is bracing to lose 90% of its revenue Saturday while National Grid does its work but thankfully, it’s sister-store in Mendon, the Mendon Medows Marketplace, will remain open as it is in RG&E’s service area, not National Grid’s.
News10NBC Investigative Reporter Jennifer Lewke spoke with National Grid’s Communications Manager David Bertola about the planned outage.
Jennifer Lewke – You know it’s an inconvenience for a lot of folks to be out of power all day on a Saturday, why is it necessary to do this project on Saturday and for that length of time?
David Bertola – During routine inspections of our equipment in November we learned these urgent repairs need to be made. Essentially, there’s two wooden poles that support a transmission line that impacts thousands of, thousands of customers. if we don’t address this, then potentially these poles could fall down during a severe storm, we can’t get out there immediately and it could impact more people over a longer period of time. We had to order new steel replacement poles and we could have done it over the last two weeks but we’re running into Christmas and New Years. Why a weekend? School is back in session now, we’re beyond the two major holidays and working with the municipalities and counties it was decided that we should be working in the daylight, that’s for safety of our crews and we’re going to have two 10 person crews. One working on each pole for about an estimated 9 hours.
Jennifer Lewke – One thing we’re hearing is, how could the infrastructure get this bad this quickly without you noticing until the middle of winter?
Dave Bertola – Well, it’s not so much quickly. We routinely inspect our equipment as I mentioned. Would we prefer to work in June or July in 70 degree weather? Absolutely but it’s not as if, as an example Jennifer, we found it in June or July and we sat on it and waited. These are older poles, older structures. They were part of the inspection and we jumped on it right away.
With the high temperatures only forecasted to be in the low 30’s a number of warming centers have been set up for Saturday:
East Avon Fire Department, open 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
1615 West Henrietta Road
Avon, NY 14414
Avon Fire Department, open 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
74 Genesee St.
Avon, NY 14414
Lima Ambulance Base, open 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
7024 W. Main St.
Lima, NY 14485
J.W. Jones Hall, open 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
366 Leicester Road
Caledonia, NY 14423
Mendon Fire Department Community Room, open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
101 Mendon Ionia Road
Rush Fire Department Building, open 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
1971 Rush Mendon Road
Rush, NY 14543
Honeoye Falls Ambulance Base, open 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
210 East St.
Honeoye Falls, NY 14472
If you’re planning to use a generator during the outage:
• Generators used to supply power during an outage must be operated outdoors to prevent the buildup of deadly carbon monoxide. Before operating a generator, be sure to disconnect from National Grid’s system by shutting off the main breaker, located in the electric service panel.
• Customers who depend on electrically powered life support equipment, such as a respirator, should contact National Grid at 1-800-642-4272 for information on requesting designation as a life support customer. In a medical emergency, always dial 911.
• Keep working flashlights and an extra supply of batteries in your home and be sure to charge all electronic devices.
• Use caution when driving near utility crews.
• Be sure to check on elderly family members, neighbors and others who may need assistance during an outage.