An electrical failure in a 115,000-volt transmission line Wednesday afternoon cut power twice to at least 11,000 customers in Amherst and the Town of Tonawanda, shut down businesses and snarled rush-hour traffic.
The power first went out at about 3:30 p.m., when the transmission line that serves several electrical substations in the area failed. It was restored in about 15 minutes, according to Stephen Brady, regional spokesman for National Grid, before going out again at about 4:15 p.m.
Brady said the two separate failures occurred on the same line within the hour. The power was restored the second time by about 5 p.m., when crews replaced two pieces of equipment -- a lightning arrester and a loop -- on the line.
Amherst and Town of Tonawanda police directed traffic at major intersections for the duration of the outage, which caused traffic jams along Niagara Falls Boulevard.
A few minor accidents occurred, including one at about 4:15 on Maple Road, east of Bailey Avenue, Amherst Fire Control officials said.
One person was freed from the wreckage of a car, but injuries were not considered life-threatening, authorities said.
The outage resulted in the closing of several businesses during the blackout, including many shops in Amherst's Boulevard Mall.
Late-afternoon and evening activities at area schools also were canceled, according to reports.
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