Government

Tropical Storm Topples Trees, Power Lines in North Salem

A downed utility pole on Bogtown Road, where multiple poles and trees were down. In this case, the transformer leaked oil and had to be cleaned up. Credits: Photo courtesy of Janine Selendy

NORTH SALEM, N.Y.--October went out with bang, thanks to a tropical storm that ravaged the East Coast at the end of October, leaving many Westchester residents without power on Oct. 30 and some even longer.

Lights started going out on the night of Oct. 29 as winds reached 57 mph and knocked down trees and tree limbs, which damaged utility poles. Thousands of NYSEG customers in Westchester, including 405 homes in North Salem, were without power. For most, the power was restored in time for trick-or-treating on Oct. 31, but 29 homes were still without power until 11:45 a.m. on Nov. 1, according to Supervisor Warren Lucas.

The lines that feed that part of town were damaged by downed trees, he explained. Most of the people in town lost power in two clusters: in the Purdy’s hamlet and along and just off of Bogtown Road.

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The Purdys line went out after  a tree knocked into a power line and a power surge melted a bad fuse, Lucas said.

“I have repeatedly asked NYSEG to please check the line fuses,”  he wrote on social media the night of Oct. 31. “I was out there earlier this evening and did not seen any that were open. The fix in the area should be a simple one and quite frankly it should have been fixed already.”

The Bogtown Road area, which branches into numerous side roads, is fed by a line from Chapel Road in Lewisboro or the line that runs along Mills Road from Goldens Bridge. Both of those lines were knocked out by fallen trees. 

At 1 a.m. Oct. 31, Lucas said he drove the length of Bogtown Road and reported that a crew from Binghamton had worked a 17-hour day and was required to stop repairs at 9 p.m. due to labor laws.

Lucas updated residents via social media and he expressed frustration with NYSEG procedures. 

“In a lot of cases they just had people siting around,” he said. “Those people shouldn’t have been sitting around all Tuesday night...They were quite good, the people that were working here, but they can’t seem to direct their manpower very well.”

Lucas attributed the delay to safety procedures that keep NYSEG workers from working on the same line in multiple locations. 

In addition to the storm-related outages, many Verizon customers were without phone and internet after the installation of a guard rail on Bloomer Road accidentally severed a cable. 

Members of the North Salem Highway Department visited NYSEG’s Carmel headquarters on Oct. 31 to get dry ice and water for those without power. The supplies were available at  Delancey Hall on Titicus Road for residents, and about a dozen picked them up.


 

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