Fallen tree on line source of widespread power outages

OBSERVER Photo by Gregory Bacon A Fredonia police officer directs traffic at the intersection of Temple Street and Central Avenue, while the traffic signal was out Tuesday due to a power outage.

A tree that fell on a power line was the source of widespread outages Tuesday.

According to David Bertola of National Grid, the tree fell on a transmission line in the area of Bear Lake Road, Brocton around 11:30 a.m. That knocked power out to thousands of National Grid customers — from Westfield to Frewsburg in the south county to parts of Brocton and Fredonia to the north.

As many as 12,000 customers lost power during the outage, National Grid estimated.

Most power was restored by 1:30 p.m.

“The tree likely fell on a transmission line that delivers power to neighborhood substations,” Bertola said. “That line may have gone to more than one neighborhood, which is why the outages may have been so big.”

Bertola noted that it isn’t uncommon for trees or branches to fall on utility lines, disrupting power to area residents. “Trees may be damaged in a previous storm before they fall,” he said.