Niagara Gazette — Some residents in the DeVeaux section of Niagara Falls got an unpleasant surprise as they tried to beat the heat Wednesday evening.
Air conditioners and other electrical appliances in a small section of the neighborhood kicked off around 9 p.m. due to a power outage. National Grid described the problem as an equipment malfunction on one of its poles in the area.
Power was restored to all affected homes within a few hours.
“It’s not necessarily heat related, just an equipment malfunction,” said Virginia J. Limmiatis, a spokesperson for National Grid.
Another non-weather related outage occurred at Niagara Falls City Hall on Main Street on Thursday. Limmiatis said an equipment malfunction at one of National Grid’s nearby poles was the source of the problem that cut off electricity to the building for a short time. Limmiatis said the issue was addressed and power restored to city hall around noon.
“It only affected (city hall) and no other customers,” she said.
National Grid issued an advisory early Thursday afternoon asking customers to help conserve energy amid the recent heatwave in an effort to avoid brownouts.
The advisory asked upstate customers to cut back on all unnecessary electricity during daytime hours. The utility described its electricity supply as sufficient, but warned that the combination of heavy demands for air conditioner use and other devices designed to keep people cool in high temperatures could pose a challenge to its regional network.
Among the tips offered by National Grid is turn off lights that aren’t in use and avoid cooking, bathing or washing clothes during the day. Unnecessary appliances, like televisions and other appliances should also be unplugged as a conservation measure as they still draw energy while plugged in when not in use.
A heat advisory was issued for Niagara County Thursday and the Niagara County Health Department also issued an advisory on Thursday, offering tips to county residents on how to avoid heat-related illnesses, including heat stroke and heat rash.
The department encourages residents, especially the elderly and young children who are more vulnerable to heat-related illnesses, to wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing; avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.; drink plenty of fluids, especially water; avoid drinks containing alcohol and caffeine; wear sunscreen when out in the sun and make sure children and animals are never left in a parked car for any amount of time as temperatures inside a car can rise to dangerous levels within minutes.
As for a break in the hot weather, meteorologists are forecasting cooler temperatures Sunday into Monday.
The National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center has placed all of Western New York into a slight risk zone for severe thunderstorms beginning today particularly for tonight.