National Grid is predicting that all Chautauqua and Cattaraugus county residents will have power for Halloween.
According to National Grid's power map Tuesday afternoon, 989 people in Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties are without power due from high winds and downed trees caused by the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
Areas which were most affected were: French Creek, 370 customers without power; Dutch Hollow Road area of Ellery, 214 customers without power; and the town of Chautauqua from Cottage Park to Potter Road, 173 customers without power. As of press time all National Grid power had been restored in Cattaraugus County. Eight Chautauqua County households were still without power.
Several utility poles were downed by wind in the area in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy on Tuesday in Clymer. The lines fell onto West Main Street in front of Z&M Ag and Turf and the former Maplevale Farms site.
P-J photos by Robyn Kibbe
Additionally, several schools closed as a result of the storm, including: Dunkirk, Fredonia, Lake Shore Career and Technical Academy, Salamanca, Westfield Academy and Central School, Ripley, Brocton, Sherman, the BOCES LoGuidice Center in Fredonia, Cassadaga Valley, Pine Valley, Chautauqua Lake, Panama and Clymer.
However, Steve Brady, representative for National Grid, is anticipating that power will be returned to customers in time for Halloween.
"We had outages in Chautauqua County, as we did just about everywhere in New York as a result of heavy winds and strong rains," said Brady. "We've made great strides in restoring power through (Monday) night and into (Tuesday) morning, but we haven't been able to restore power to everyone yet. The good news is that we anticipate we will be completely wrapped up by (Wednesday) morning."
Additionally, Brady said that National Grid does not anticipate that residual weather from Hurricane Sandy will cause any further power outages in the area.
"I probably shouldn't be predicting the weather, but based on the forecast we're hearing, we're not anticipating any more difficulties," said Brady. "If something does happen, however, we have a full contingency of crews to send out if needed."
Though weather conditions proved to be difficult to work in on Monday night and Tuesday morning, Brady gave praise to not only the National Grid repair crew, but also to first responders from the different municipalities which were affected.
"The weather made it very difficult to make repairs when the power originally went out, because it is almost impossible to send buckets up in such high winds," said Brady. "After a while we sent our crews home so they could get some rest and come back (Tuesday) and repair everything which was left. ... Knowing that Hurricane Sandy was on the way, we started our emergency preparations about a week ago. We made sure everything was stocked and ready to go when it finally hit. We knew we would have some damage, but we weren't sure how much. To be honest, the damage we got was a bit less than what we were expected, which gives us the opportunity to wrap up repairs before (Halloween).
"We really want to acknowledge the community first responders as well," continued Brady. "We work very closely with the communities we serve, and as usual, they did a tremendous job of helping us to identify problems and making sure everything was safe until we could get a crew on the scene. It is work that often goes unrecognized, but we appreciate it so much. It is a great example of community cooperation, and we could not do it without those responders."