Power Companies Kept Busy In Storm’s Wake

RANDOLPH — Downed power lines and utility poles caused by heavy, wet snow from a late-season storm kept area and out-of-state power crews busy over the weekend.

The work did not go unnoticed by local elected officials, especially in Cattaraugus County where about 1,000 customers were without electricity for more than 24 hours following a snowstorm that rolled through the region Thursday and Friday. Power was restored to most residents in the town of Randolph by Saturday evening, Town Supervisor Dale Senn said.

“At least it wasn’t very cold or windy,” said Senn, who noted that it’s been several decades since he could recall electricity going out as long as it did. “It had to be the late ’60s the last time it happened. I bought a generator then so it would never happen again.”

Senn said the snow — with between 10 to 18 inches falling in most areas — caused a lot of damage to trees and power lines in the town. He said he spoke to utility workers from Michigan who were brought in to assist National Grid and NYSEG restore power to hundreds of customers.

The longtime supervisor said he tried to make the most of the situation.

“We’re pretty lucky here,” Senn said. “We don’t get big fires and never really get tornadoes. We get some snow but that usually only sticks around for a day or two.”

By Sunday, only a few were waiting for their power to return.

According to the Salamanca Press, 20 trees or large limbs were brought down during the storm in the city of Salamanca. By Friday afternoon, much of the debris was cleared.

“My guys did a heck of a job and we stayed on top of it,” Public Works Supervisor Rob Carpenter told the Salamanca Press. “We got the roads taken care of and cut up a lot of trees today.”

Salamanca Mayor Michael Smith said he was pleased with the efforts of city crews to clear debris following the storm. “As always, I’m very impressed with our people,” Smith told the Salamanca newspaper. “Our roads are bare and passable.”

Tim Jackson, Salamanca town supervisor, also praised crews who helped restore power to area residents. He said one crew member showed him his work order for the region where electricity remained out mid-day Saturday.

“Oh my God it was so long,” Jackson remarked.

“These guys were under the gun as far as getting the power back to everyone,” he continued. “They have done a heck of a job.”

The American Red Cross said it was closing three emergency shelters today in Cattaraugus and Allegany counties, while most power outages in Chautauqua County were resolved by Saturday night.