National Grid: Need for long-armed truck delayed power restoration

Company says it wasn’t allowed to use truck Lake Placid village offered

National Grid is responding to complaints about how long it took to restore power to Lake Placid on a busy, event-filled Sunday.

Company spokeswoman Virginia Limmiatis said the outage was caused by a switch that had faulted or burned out. To repair it, National Grid had to bring in a special truck from Syracuse to augment a crew that was already on the scene, she said.

“Due to the height of where the switch is located, they needed the assistance of a specialized bucket truck with a bucket that can go up to 90 feet in height,” Limmiatis said. “We keep the specialized equipment in a central located area, the Syracuse area, and that is why that crew was brought up to help the crew on the scene.”

The outage started at 1:24 p.m. Sunday as thousands of people were in town for the Lake Placid Marathon and Half Marathon, although most competitors had finished by then.

It was also the final day of the five-day Lake Placid Film Forum. The blackout took place as two of Film Forum events were taking place, and six more later in the day had to be canceled.

Power wasn’t restored until around 9:30 p.m.

Lake Placid Mayor Craig Randall said he and North Elba town Supervisor Roby Politi spoke to a representative from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office to register concerns about how long it took to get National Grid to make the necessary repairs. They mayor said he offered the fire department’s 100-foot tall ladder truck to help the company reach the necessary height, but he added, “I understand they are comfortable using their own equipment.”

“It’s an inconvenience to say the least,” Randall said of the outage. “It impacts all of the village.”

Limmaitis said safety regulations don’t allow National Grid crews to use anything but their own trucks and equipment.

“Unfortunately, these things happen at the most inopportune time,” she added.

Staff Writer Antonio Olivero contributed to this report.

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