Posted at: 09/27/2012 5:29 PM
| Updated at: 09/27/2012 6:19 PM
By: Abigail Bleck
ALBANY--Wednesday's problem happened near 111 North Pearl Street and left 3700 residents and businesses without power. The underground explosion sent smoke pouring out of a manhole and into the air, but no visible fire. It's being blamed on a cable malfunction.
"I'm not too happy with National Grid, they could do more and charge less, complains Colin McCoy who lost power in Arbor Hill last night.
Last Wednesday, a similar underground explosion in the same area sent manhole covers flying and led to evacuations in downtown Albany. Afterwards, National Grid cited faulty electrical wires. But the company was quick to add today that it was two different systems; an unfortunate coincidence but not related.
"It doesn't matter that they are two separate incidents, they are two incidents that could have hurt people," worries Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings.
The power company's local spokesman admits that cables throughout the city are anywhere from one to fifty years old. Age is just one of the causes being investigated in both incidents.
"What if I was standing on the manhole or driving my car over it? Everyone is concerned about explosions," adds McCoy.
At a meeting he called for Monday, Jennings says he will push National Grid to address its aging infrastructure throughout the city. He will also claims he will insist that the company be more proactive, and make changes and upgrades, rather than just reactive.
"It's their job to check the system to make sure those types of incidents don't occur and that's what I'll ask them to do ," s," said Jennings.
The two recent explosions created minor inconveniences with the traffic rerouting and lost power. But had it occurred Saturday, when thousand of revelers were on Pearl Street for the Pearlapalooza music festival, the outcome could have been tragic.