Local Power Outages Damage Electrical Equipment

Electronic equipment in the neighborhood suffered severe damage recently.

The lights went out for residents of the Silver Beach and Waterbury LaSalle communities over the past two weekends, causing disruptions and in some cases, damage to the electrical systems of many homes.

On Saturday, February 5, 40 homes in Silver Beach experienced a power surge when a high voltage, overhead power line came crashing down onto secondary wires feeding the homes.

About 15 homes had damage to either electrical systems inside the homes or appliances like microwaves, refrigerators and dishwashers because of the massive electrical surge icaused by the snapped power cable.

“Normally, the homeowner is responsible for any damage inside of the home, and is required to make repairs to services boxes and wiring inside of the house,” said Con Edison spokesman Eric Soto. “This was a big issue though, so we sent our company electrician who repaired the damage and made conditions safer in a matter of hours.”

Power went out to a larger pool of customers in the Silver Beach area just before 5 p.m. on February 5, effecting 661 customers before power was restored at 6:14 p.m.

“The majority of the 40 homes did not report any damage inside because of the surge, but we repaired the power lines outside until power was safely restored,” Soto said. “We also dispatched a customer service van to the area where some customers filed claims for appliance and permanent repairs that may need to be made inside some of the houses. Our crews worked into Sunday to make sure that all of the overhead wires were repaired and conditions inside of the homes were made safe.”

Repairs by licensed electricians will be required in some of the homes affected by the Silver Beach power surge, Soto said, with Con Edison making reimbursements to cooperative owners for those repairs.

The Waterbury LaSalle area was also affected with a blackout on Saturday, February 12, with 1392 customers roughly from Westchester Avenue to Waterbury Avenue along the East Tremont Avenue corridor loosing power at 12:37 a.m., with all but eight of those customers having power restored by 1:45 a.m.

“The blackout affected the area around my district office,” said Councilman Jimmy Vacca. “Many people didn’t realize that it had occurred until after they woke up to find their alarm clocks blinking.”

The outage was blamed on an underground transformer, and Soto said that outages like this are something that happens and are not the cause of any special circumstances in Throggs Neck.

“It happens every day throughout our entire system,” Soto said. “We have hundreds of thousands of miles of cable, and at one time or another, something fails.”

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