Power outage strands dozens in lobby at Brighton Towers

Residents of Brighton Towers wait in cold lobby during power outage

A power outage at the 18-story Brighton Towers senior living complex on East Brighton Avenue in Syracuse left dozens of people unable to get back in to or even leave their apartments for more than ten hours on Friday.

The power came back on around 6 p.m. Residents of the apartment building say the full power went out around 7 a.m. on Friday morning. Some had been without power since midnight. Residents were unable to use the elevators or any apartment appliances. Because the elevators were not functioning, many residents were unable to leave from or return to their apartments, especially those on the upper floors.

"I lost a job today from a temp agency on account of my phone was dead, and I had no way to charge it," said tenant Susan Tinsley.

â??I had to walk down 14 flights of stairs and I havenâ??t gone up since,â?? said tenant Dennis Hough.

Brighton Towers is managed by Rochester Management. The company brought cookies and water to the residents stuck in the lobby. When a CNY Central crew arrived at the apartments around 4:45 p.m., the management office was dark, leaving only a security guard to look over the tenants.

"It was havoc," said resident Anne Hobert. "It was a mess. It's been out before, but it's never been this long, where nobody's told us anything that's going on either."

A representative with the emergency after-hours line said residents should call their power company. National Grid was on location trying to resolve the situation.

Bob Barker, owner of Bob Barker's Famous Hot Dogs and Coneys in Syracuse, heard the news about the outage and broughkt his hot dog truck to Brighton Towers.

"I just like to help people if I can," said Barker. "I was brought up like that. My mom and taught me if you can help someone, help them, you know? And these people, they need help."

Barker had an estimated 400 hot dogs to hand out to residents who had gone all day with little or no food. Brighton Towers management had only provided cookies, pretzels and water to residents during the outage.

Manager Nancy Madugo maintained that management had been on site all day, and had been waiting for equipment from National Grid to de-energize the blown transformer that caused the outage.

National Grid said the transformer is owned by Brighton Towers, and they were only on scene to de-energize it.

A National Grid spokesperson said the company received a call from Brighton Towers around 2 a.m. on Friday. Crews were on scene early in the morning, and received a request from Brighton Towers to de-energize the transformer before noon. Because of the transformer's location and the surrounding snow and ice, a specialized piece of equipment was needed. National Grid said the equipment was on scene around 3p.m to de-energize the transformer, which was then repaired by a contractor working for Brighton Towers.

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