Amherst Mayor Mark Costilow expected a bunch of angry messages when he arrived at work today following a power outage that ended up being more than 10 hours long yesterday.
Instead, he was pleasantly surprised.
“The calls were complimentary,” he said. “I have to give a lot of credit to the people here. They really stepped up. People checked up on their neighbors.”
The storms that blew through the area Thursday night and Friday apparently damaged a porcelain insulator on a 69,000-volt power line leading into the city’s substation. The power had to be turned off to repair the line, and as it turned out, more repairs were needed than originally thought. The power was shut off before noon, and although original estimates had the power coming back on around 4 p.m., it ended up being around 9:30 before power was restored.
Costilow said the city had set a deadline of 10 p.m., and was planning to make alternate arrangements, with shelters set up for community members.
He noted that there didn’t seem to be a lot of traffic crashes related to the power outage, and said that most intersections in town that didn’t have stoplights with battery backup had a police officer or firefighter directing traffic. There were also temporary stop signs set up.