Utility power from New York State Electric & Gas had not gone off during Hurricane Sandy, but as the bad weather moved in, a power failure had been anticipated and the switch was made to the generator. When it failed, they had difficulty transferring the circuits back to utility power, Jaquish said.
The irony was that the storm was much milder in the North Country than predicted, although New York City, Long Island and most of New Jersey were hammered.
There was a second generator in the specs for the building when it was being constructed, but it was taken out, County Manager Daniel Palmer said.
“I think originally when the design was put in we really counted on the main generator being more reliable than it has been. We’ve had the manufacturer back at least a half dozen times. One of the problems with it is when the power outage is a short blip, it doesn’t restart — it goes off, and then we don’t get it back. It has been an ongoing issue.”
County Department of Public Works Superintendent Anthony LaVigne said he’s working on the issue and may have a surplus generator that can be used.
“We have one that’s currently in New York City on loan. It’s a 40 kilowatt. We’re doing an engineering study to see if that will take care of the problem.”
Emergency lighting is also being installed throughout the building now, including the adjacent County Jail.
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