Emergency power outage in Lake Placid

LAKE PLACID – An emergency power outage affected a large area in Lake Placid, including about half of Main Street, for about 30 minutes Monday afternoon.

The village electric and fire departments worked together to replace a power line’s insulator on Power House Road that was determined to need replacing immediately. The insulator holds pole line wire away from the poles.

Peter Kroha, the village electric superintendent, said half of Main Street had its power out, along with all of Cascade Road and the area around the Lake Placid Elementary School.

“It was a big area that was out of power,” Kroha said. “We had to do it now because with heavy rains tonight, it could have killed electric for the whole village. If it got damp and humid, it would have arched over.”

Power was cut off at about 1:30 p.m. and restored around 2 p.m. The Lake Placid Volunteer Fire Department’s aerial ladder truck was used in the replacement.

Kroha said the village is taking that portion of line out next month when the trunk sewer line project is set to begin.

“A new stack of 4-foot insulator needs to be replaced,” Kroha said. “We’re also setting three new poles for the sewer line project, but nobody will be out of power then.”

Kroha explained a process known as backfeeding, in which electricity is routed in the opposite direction it usually flows. This allows the village to maintain its power while the repair is made, but that wasn’t possible in this emergency situation.

Propane leak

There was also a propane leak on Wilmington Road (state Route 86) Monday afternoon at 1:22 p.m., around the same time as the power outage. This led some residents to believe the incidents were related, but both Kroha and fire department officials said they were not. The Lake Placid Volunteer Fire Department responded with one truck and nine members, but said the incident was over before they arrived on scene.

Lake Placid Mayor Craig Randall was standing on his porch and witnessed the leak. He owns and lives at the Northway Motel across the street from the incident.

“There was a smell in the air,” Randall said. “My wife said, ‘That truck is spilling propane.'”

Randall then saw it “spewing out of the hose.”

“They took the hose and embedded it in the snowbank,” he said. “It was a very dangerous situation.”