JAY - A power surge knocked out electricity to about 40 households in the Styles Brook Road area of Upper Jay and Keene Saturday.
"One of the transformers had caught fire," Jay town Supervisor Randy Douglas told the Enterprise Monday. "There was some people without power, and it was very frustrating to them."
NYSEG workers replaced the transformer and turned power back on to most of the houses affected, Douglas said. But NYSEG workers had to recharge the line when they turned power to homes on, and some families had issues with their breaker boxes when that happened, he said. A few people had appliances ruined by the surge, and one woman's air conditioner unit blew up and caught her curtains on fire, though the flames were quickly extinguished, he said.
Peter Landau told the Enterprise his home in Upper Jay had several appliances ruined by the surge.
He was in Peru when it happened, but his daughter was home.
"She calls me on the phone saying that something weird just happened," Landau said. The TV she was watching shut off, and "she heard all the appliances making these noises, popping and just weird noises."
An upstairs television set was smoking, he said. His daughter unplugged everything, and Landau rushed back from Peru. His refrigerator and a few other appliances were destroyed, and the power was out for maybe six hours. Several of his neighbors had similar problems, he said.
Douglas said everyone he knows of who lost power had it back on Monday afternoon, but there were some houses where people weren't home, and NYSEG workers wanted to make sure people were there when the power was switched back on.
NYSEG is sending investigators this week to find out more about what happened, Douglas said.
He said he usually has a good working relationship with NYSEG, but he was frustrated the company didn't contact him when the surge happened on Saturday night. Usually he'll do what he can to make sure that people affected by an outage have a safe place to stay, like a hotel or a friend's home.
Douglas said NYSEG set up a claim line for people who have damage from the surge not covered by insurance. The number is 1-866-577-3787, or they can go to www.nyseg.com and click on the outage link, he said.