Power Outage in Chautauqua County Turns up the Heat on Thousands

July 22, 2011 Updated Jul 22, 2011 at 6:06 PM EDT

By WKBW Internet

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July 22, 2011 Updated Jul 22, 2011 at 6:06 PM EDT

CHAUTAUQUA, NY (WKBW) - It was a quiet and very hot night at the Chautauqua Institution Thursday night, after a blown transformer at a nearby sup station knocked out power to the entire campus until early Friday morning.

One event was canceled and one cut short due to the power outage to help ensure guests could get settled before dark. But it was the lack of air conditioning and refrigeration that made it a tough night for many.

"People hung out on the porch in the dark and some actually slept [in an outdoor room]. There were some older people in there that needed to be out of the heat and they brought their pillows down and they spent the night," Kathy Blasi told us.

When the power failed, workers had to rush to salvage all food and perishables, sending it to nearby facilities that had back-up power. Food and ice cream service didn't reopen on the Chautauqua campus until Friday afternoon.

The power outage wasn't all bad for some, however. Up the road from the institution, Webb's Restaurant doubled their business as scores of people searched for a place to get cool and grab some grub.

"I know we doubled our numbers pretty much from last year and we did roughly 350 diners last night," said Andrew Lescynski of Webb's.

Power was completely restored by Friday morning as National Grid brought in a mobile substation, which with power the area until a permanent fix can be made to the transformer at the substation.