After a large tree toppled over during a windstorm mid-day on June 14 at the corner of Hamilton and Clinton Streets, a portion of the village, and about 250 customers were without power for several hours. Penn Yan Director of Public Works Brent Bodine says as many as 500 to 600 customers were affected by short power interruptions of between 15 and 20 minutes during the work to restore power.

Bodine says the tree broke a utility pole with two distribution circuits.

He described the work that was needed: “After electrically isolating the area to be worked on, we had a contracted tree crew go to work on removing the tree that fell and another village tree that was right next to it and of the same species and age.  While that was going on, mutual aid crews from Churchville and Spencerport had arrived. Removal of the broken pole and the setting a new one and rebuilding of its top started as soon as the trees were cleared/removed.”

Bodine says village officials continue to manage the village-owned trees diligently. “Unfortunately, the tree that fell on Friday gave no indication that it was ready to fall over,” he said. 

Mayor Leigh MacKerchar says although the municipal utilities electric department is short-handed these days, the mutual aid help would have been needed to repair the damage even if Penn Yan was fully staffed.

MacKerchar says calling in crews from other municipalities is not uncommon in situations like this. 

It was also the case with two other recent incidents, he said, recalling when a large truck hit a utility pole near the hospital earlier this year, and when there was a power outage in the Hillcrest neighborhood. Both times, extra help responded from another system.

Recruitment

Bodine says there are three vacancies on the Penn Yan electric crew — one for a senior lineworker and two for lineworkers. 

“We’re advertising for the Senior Lineworker, Lineworker, Apprentice Lineworker and Electric Groundsperson.  We have a decent number of responses for the Apprentice Lineworker and Electric Groundsperson positions, but no responses for the Senior Lineworker or Lineworker positions as yet,” he explains.