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Power mostly restored to BMHA housing complex on below-freezing day

Power was mostly restored Tuesday afternoon to the Kenfield Homes housing project, where about 600 people live, after nearly 6 hours of no heat or lights on a frigid day.

The power failure, which came during a period of time when temperatures dipped down to 9 degrees, affected the entire housing development run by the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority, which provides government-assisted rental apartments to low-income families.

Crews from National Grid and ESI Electrical Contractors, an outside electrical contractor, were called to the scene to restore the power, according to a news release.

"It has been determined the problem is with the main switch in our power substation," said Modesto Candelario, BMHA assistant deputy director.  A spokeswoman for the city later said the switch was new and may still be under warranty.

On Monday, the power went out at the Commodore Perry Homes, another BMHA complex, after a problem in an underground electrical distribution network operated by National Grid. Residents of the Commodore Perry complex endured around 12 hours without heat, hot water or electricity. Power was restored there at 3 p.m. Monday.

The Kenfield Homes has about 80 housing units and is located on Tower Street, south of the Kensington Expressway behind Frederick Law Olmsted School #156. Four units were still without power late in the day, but the city spokeswoman said a backup plan was in place with generators and portable heaters to provide electricity and heat if necessary.

Earlier in the day, BMHA brought in several generators and heaters to the development's Martha Mitchell Community Center, which opened at 11 a.m. as a warming center. Food and beverages were provided and there were activities for the kids until people were able to return to their homes.

BMHA also identified residents who needed physical assistance to get from their apartments to the center, city officials said.

Christmas began without heat, electricity at Perry complex

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