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lightningTheoretically all power has been restored in Tompkins County after a violent storm knocked out power to 17,600 NYSEG customers in NYSEG’s Ithaca Division Tuesday.  NYSEG announced yesterday that all Ithaca-area service was expected to be restored by midnight.  By Thursday morning local crews working with dozens of NYSEG crews from other locations, as well as contract line and tree crews, had reduced the number of storm-related outages to 1,375.   An estimated 57,000 NYSEG customers suffered outages across the company’s statewide service area.

“As a result of the detailed information from yesterday’s damage assessment and the determination of our crews to restore power safely and efficiently, we have been able to significantly revise our estimated restoration time,” said Mark S. Lynch, president and CEO of NYSEG and RG&E. “We appreciate all of the assistance we have received and we thank our customers for their patience and understanding as we continue our work.”

NYSEG's Ithaca Division includes Tompkins County and parts of Cortland, Cayuga, Seneca, Schuyler, Chemung and Tioga counties.  A little after midnight the lights began coming on for Lansing customers Wednesday morning, about six hours after the outage began.  3,508 of NYSEG's 3,835 customers in the Town had been without power.  In the Village 626 of 2,197 NYSEG customers were in the dark.

“While we are working diligently in all areas that have outages, our top priority last night and this morning in the Ithaca area has been responding to downed-wires incidents to make the situations safe,” said Lynch. “Since daylight we have been gathering detailed damage information so we can develop a comprehensive plan to ensure that we restore power safely and as quickly as possible.”

Wednesday evening the Tompkins County Department of Emergency Response issued an update after a conference call with NYSEG officials.  NYSEG said all customers would have powered restored by Thursday night.  At that point 7,086 customers were without power county-wide.  NYSEG deployed 47 line crews in Tompkins County during the day with another 27 crews coming that evening.  Reportedly a downed tree displaced railroad tracks in western Lansing.

The northern and western areas of the county still had the largest number of customers without power.  NYSEG reported that all its substations and main transmission lines were operational, adding that few utility poles were broken.  County officials reported that fire and law enforcement agencies within the county assisted with welfare checks of NYSEG 'critical care customers,' other vulnerable clients, and with critical infrastructures and facilities.

"NYSEG first repairs the backbone of the electricity system – transmission lines and substations – that bring electricity to the local distribution system that serves our customers." the company said in a press release Wednesday. "The company then makes any necessary repairs to the distribution system that includes the poles and power lines along streets and roads, focusing first on those circuits where power can be restored to the largest number of customers. As part of this process, NYSEG takes into account the needs of hospitals, nursing homes, fire and police stations, as well as any other critical infrastructure."

Thursday morning was rosier, though not for everyone.  County-wide 954 of 43,833 total customers remained without power.  The YMCA and Lansing schools opened their facilities to those who needed bathrooms or showers.  In Lansing 67 customers in the Town and 5 in the Village were without power.  NYSEG estimated power would be restored by midnight Thursday.  Homes still blacked out in the town of Lansing were reported on Atwater, Conlon, Davis, Gulf, Lansingville, Portland Point and Ridge Roads.  In the Village three homes on Churchill Drive and two on Wakefield Drive were still dark.

As of 12:45 p.m., NYSEG reported 406 remaining customers without power in Tompkins County.  The utility had 74 crews deployed.  NYSEG described the remaining affected areas as 'isolated.'  The utility was distributing dry ice and bottled water at NYSEG’s Ithaca Service Center, 1387 Dryden Road (Route 13).  By 3:00 PM, there were only 237, and by 5:15 108.  Two of those were in Lansing: one on Lansingville Road and the other on Portland Point Road.  Those had power restored around dinner time and at 8:46 the only house in the County reported without power was on Niemi Road in Freeville.

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