The last of National Grid's customers to lose power on Saturday night had their electricity restored early Monday morning, but after being without power over 24 hourse, some had questions about how the incident was handled.
The utility says it finally traced the problem to a faulty switchgear, connected to an underground cable in the Cherry Estates neighborhood (bordered by Caughdenoy and Lawton Roads and Route 31). A big utility box ws replaced as part of the repairs, and spokesperson Virginia Limmiatis says more checks and repairs are coming, to increase the reliability of the power supply in the area.
Neighbors we spoke with were not happy with the long outage, or with the way National Grid handled telling them about it.
"It was nonsense that we kept calling," says resident Steve LaFleur. "They just kept giving us the runaround on the time back. So we just sat back thinking everying was gonna be alright. And it wasn't"
National Grid's website initially listed over 11-hundred customers without power, with a restoration time of early Sunday morning. The numbers fluctuated though the day, as some were switched to other power sources, but the repair time kept getting pushed back and about 600 customers (several thousand people) did not see their electricity until over 24 hours after they lost it. "It necessarily wasn't a delay," Limmiatis told us. 'It's something that's not infallible, but it ws our best guest of where the situation was, at that time."
LaFleur is one neighbor who told us he got rid of lots of food from his refrigerator and freezer, with concerns that it was warming and going bad. "And who's gonna cover this? It's an expense," he says.
National Grid claims told us by phone that they're not sure if the utility will cover the costs of lost food, but offers to send a claim form. Homeowners' or renters' insurance may also cover losses.
Other neighbors, including Ilyong Chong, told us of concerns about flooded basements because sump pumps stopped working.
Some made the best of it: Kelly Mondore took her children to the mall, and then to her parents, who had power in Cicero.
Emily McLaughlin, from neighboring development Lawton Valley, told us 'It didn't really start bothering me until last night. I couldn't see anything. No TV. The emmy's didn't record. It was annoying."
Just as annoying, the job of re-setting clocks, alarms and other electric powered devices, once the lights came back on.