Emergency services set up flares around the intersection of Dryden Road and College Ave as traffic lights cut out during the power outage.

Linbo Fan / Sun Staff Photographer

Emergency services set up flares around the intersection of Dryden Road and College Ave as traffic lights cut out during the power outage.

February 4, 2017

Power Restored After Collegetown, Ithaca Plunged Into Darkness

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The lights are back on at Cornell and in the City of Ithaca after a power outage on Saturday night left more than 7,000 people without power in Tompkins County, momentarily trapped people in elevators, turned traffic lights dark and postponed a Big Red basketball game.

About 7,218 NYSEG customers — including 4,485 people in the City of Ithaca — were without power in Tompkins County for more than two hours beginning shortly after 5 p.m., according to the electric company’s website. A NYSEG spokesman could not immediately be reached to discuss the cause of the outage.

Students sit in the Robert Purcell Community Center during a power outage in Ithaca

Katie Sims / Sun Staff Photographer

Students sit in the Robert Purcell Community Center during a power outage in Ithaca

Emergency services set up several flares around several intersections in Collegetown and in Ithaca, and traffic was backed up at many other intersections around Ithaca that began functioning as four-way stops.

The Cornell men’s basketball game against Yale — scheduled for tip-off at 6 p.m. — was delayed for about two hours due to the power outage. After Yale scored one basket, however, Newman Arena went dark again.

The game has been postponed until Sunday at noon, and will resume with Yale leading 2-0 and 18:37 left in the first half.

The NYSEG website showed that more than 1,000 customers were without power on four Collegetown streets alone: University Avenue, Stewart Avenue, Eddy Street and College Avenue.

A Tompkins County dispatcher said there were multiple people stuck in several different elevators due to the power outage, but they had all been rescued by 6:30 p.m. He said he is not aware of any injuries that occurred as a result of the outage.

Cornell sent an alert to the campus community saying the power outage was impacting the entire Ithaca campus and parts of the Ithaca area. Emergencies, like being stuck in an elevator, the alert said, should still be reported to Cornell Police by calling 607-255-1111 or 911.