A widespread power outage is expected to impact thousands of National Grid customers across Monroe, Livingston, and Ontario counties on Saturday, January 6th. The outage will likely cause major disruptions and economic impacts to both residents and businesses in the affected areas.
Outage Expects to Last Entire Day
National Grid has scheduled a full-day power outage on January 6th in order to facilitate “necessary electrical upgrades” across the Genesee region. The controlled outage will begin at 6 AM and last approximately 12 hours, with power expected to be restored around 6 PM Saturday evening.
Over 7,000 National Grid customers will be impacted, including portions of Rochester, Canandaigua, Geneseo, Lima, Honeoye Falls, and other towns in the three counties. The outage comes at an inopportune time as businesses struggle to recover from financial losses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Businesses Bracing for Substantial Revenue Losses
Local business owners are bracing for a full day without power – and customers. For small businesses already operating on tight margins, losing an entire Saturday’s worth of revenue could be devastating.
The impacted region includes major retail centers like the Honeoye Falls Marketplace, which attracts thousands of shoppers each weekend. With the lights out, most stores will be forced to close. Restaurant owners are also preparing for substantial losses.
“|Business|Expected Revenue Loss|”
“|Jeremiah’s Tavern|$15,000+ |”
“|Honeoye Falls Marketplace|$500,000+ total across stores|”
Without electricity, businesses can’t process credit cards, operate cash registers, or keep perishable food items refrigerated. For restaurants, all the fresh ingredients prepped in anticipation of the weekend rush will likely spoil.
“When you close you eat it,” said Irondequoit Burger Company owner David Geiersbach. He estimates they’ll lose $8,000-$10,000 in wasted food and lost sales.
Residents Urged to Prepare, Take Safety Precautions
With below-freezing temperatures in the forecast, residents impacted by the outage are being urged to take proper safety precautions. The Red Cross advises preparing emergency survival kits with warm clothing, blankets, flashlights, spare batteries and backup charging methods for essential medical equipment.
Residents dependent on electric heat or running medical devices should make preparations to evacuate to a shelter, hotel, or house of a friend or relative if necessary. The outage also poses risks for frozen pipes, food spoilage, and water supply issues.
Experts advise avoiding opening refrigerators or freezers during an outage to prevent food spoilage. Safety precautions like generators,alternate light sources, extra water, and fully charged cell phones can lessen some risks associated with extended power loss.
Anger and Frustration Among Business Owners
While National Grid defends the outage as a necessary infrastructure upgrade, many local owners decry the timing as insensitive and poorly planned.
Business owners like Geiersbach suggest the utility company “could care less about small businesses,” planning the outage for peak revenue hours on a winter weekend. Jeremiah’s Tavern owner Mario Daniele said National Grid “obviously don’t understand our business” scheduling the outage for their biggest day of the week.
The outage forces owners into the difficult choice between closing completely or paying hourly staff to come in even if the restaurant is closed. Jeremiah’s will bring in a limited kitchen crew to prep for Sunday, forcing them to pay staff wages for the day despite no customers or power.
What Comes Next
For impacted businesses, all eyes turn to the restoration efforts on Saturday. Hopes are pinned on National Grid bringing power back sooner than the estimated 6 PM restoration time. Each additional hour the outage drags on hurts revenue potential and heightens food spoilage concerns.
Business owners will be charting sales carefully in the days following the outage to tally the full economic impacts. The true costs may not be fully realized until next week’s orders are placed and the weekend’s food waste and lost sales are calculated.
Many restaurants like Irondequoit Burger Company expect to see patrons return by Sunday, but the lost Saturday sales can never be recouped. The outage also drains emergency funds and rainy day money set aside – fiscal padding that may be sorely needed if any other shocks or slow winter weeks occur.
While homes and businesses brace for 12 tough hours without electricity, anger persists over what many owners feel was an avoidable economic gut punch by National Grid. The utility giant has some fences to mend in the aftermath, as local enterprises face a potential long road to financial recovery.
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