Power outage hits Lake Placid on busy weekend

National Grid sends trucks all the way from Syracuse to fix worn-out insulator

Olympic Center Manager Denny Allen, far right, and his crew finish putting up the new Lake Placid Marathon and Half banner at the Olympic Speedskating Oval Friday, two days before the races. (Provided photo — Greg Borzilleri)

LAKE PLACID – Another power outage cut electricity from this village during a busy weekend of events, fewer than four months after a 19-hour overnight outage in late February.

The village lost electricity on Sunday afternoon, and the Lake Placid Police Department said it has received an estimated restoration time of 10 p.m. Sunday. Just after 9:30, power came back on throughout the village, according to police.

“We know exactly what caused it,” village Mayor Craig Randall said. “There is an insulator on one of the 100 (kilovolt) high lines coming into the village located right at the rear of the Lake Placid firehouse (on Old Military Road). For whatever reason, (it) chose this afternoon to fail. It broke, (but) not because of a tree or wind. It isn’t something (due to weather conditions). It’s just something that has served its life and picked today to go.”

Because the break was outside of the village’s substation, Randall said it was National Grid’s responsibility to fix it. He said he and North Elba town Supervisor Roby Politi were at the scene of the break Sunday afternoon and spoke to a representative from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office to register concerns about how long it took to get a repair from National Grid on outage-related problems.

“Their equipment had to come out of Syracuse to make their repairs,” Randall said. “I told them, ‘I have a 100-foot ladder truck in the fire department that can reach that location, (though) I understand they are comfortable using their own equipment.”

Pictured is Director Brian T. Brown, whose Olympics-themed documentary “The Last Gold” had its East Coast premiere at the 2016 Lake Placid Film Forum. The historic Palace Theatre is again one of the main venues for the Lake Placid Film Forum, which kicked off Wednesday and will run through Sunday, June 11. (Photo provided — Ben Stechschulte)

Randall added that Olympic Center Manager Denny Allen alerted him that a layer of ice put down this morning after repainting the rink was at risk of being lost.

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

Temperatures reached the 80s in Lake Placid on a clear, windy and busy Sunday. Thousands of people were in town for the Lake Placid Marathon and Half Marathon, and it was also the final day of the five-day Lake Placid Film Forum. The latter needed electricity more than the former.

The Adirondack Film Society announced on its Facebook page around 3 p.m. that the Lake Placid Film Forum couldn’t screen films until power resumed. After 8 p.m., they announced that the remainder of the 2017 program had been canceled.

The film society added that there are possibilities of rescheduled screenings. The outage resulted in cancellations of six scheduled Film Forum events Sunday afternoon and evening, while another two events lost power when the outage began.

Marathon owner and Race Director Greg Borzilleri said the outage barely affected Sunday’s race, which began at 8 a.m. He said the outage occurred 20 minutes before the event’s six-hour cutoff time of 2 p.m., meaning almost all competitors had finished.

Generators kicked in for the event’s sound and timing systems. Borzilleri added that aside from a 30-second lull in sound at the finish line at the Olympic Speedskating Oval, where an inflatable arch also deflated, the race was unaffected.

“Our operation went so smooth you hardly even knew the power went out,” he said. “I think we could run that race off of generators if we had to.”

The Feb. 25-26 blackout was caused by a broken 115,000-volt power line in a remote location between Lake Placid and Ray Brook. That outage left residents and visitors in the dark during a wet and, at times, frigid 19-plus-hour stretch.


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