The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

September 4, 2013

Outage, smoke force Southside Mall evacuation

By Bera Dunau Staff Writer
The Daily Star

---- — Southside Oneonta was without reliable power for an hour Tuesday afternoon, and the Southside Mall was out of commission for two hours.

Events began with a line issue on county Route 48, which caused power to fluctuate across the entirety of Southside.

“1:15 (p.m.) was when our whole entire mall started fluctuating,” said Southside Mall manager Luisa Montanti.

This fluctuating power caused an exhaust fan on the top of Applebee’s to go bad, pouring smoke into the back of the house as well as into OfficeMax.

“We responded to calls from OfficeMax,” said Oneonta Fire Chief Patrick Pidgeon.

The fire department helped to shut off power to the mall in order to diagnose the problem and wait for NYSEG. This also involved shutting the mall down and evacuating it.

“We turned off the breaker down at Pierce Avenue, made repairs on the electric equipment, and then we brought everything on Southside back on except for the mall itself,” said Don Peterson, line supervisor at NYSEG.

Peterson estimated that power was shut off for no more than 45 minutes. Pidgeon said power at the mall was off for about an hour.

Said Pidgeon, “They had to kill the power to reconnect it.”

“It could have been a lightning strike from last night weakened the conductor in the cutout, causing the failure,” said Peterson, on what could have caused the problem in the first place

Power to the mall started being restored around 2:39 p.m.  The mall began gradually reopening shortly thereafter, with Nail Trix being the only business that didn’t reopen, because its owners live in Binghamton and had gone home.