Village of Colonie shelter provides comfort in midst of crisis

Five nights after an ice storm that left nearly 230,000 residences and businesses throughout the Capital District without power, 31 dinner plates at a shelter set up in the Village of Colonie were filled with turkey, vegetables and a side of compassion.

On Monday, Dec. 15, many of the cots were empty throughout the Senior Citizen Center in the Village of Colonie, but the ones that were filled were filled by grateful residents of Colonie, Niskayuna, Voorheesville and other localities that have been without power for days.

In what was one of the last six out of 22 American Red Cross shelters still open throughout Eastern New York, the Village of Colonie provided two common areas of cots and a few separate rooms for individuals who needed privacy.

On a typical Wednesday, that same space would be filled by senior citizens practicing their square-dancing techniques. Village Mayor Frank Leak said he was still hopeful that by Wednesday, those staying at the shelter would be able to return to their homes and square dancing could go on.

In a 6 p.m. conference call between representatives from National Grid and several municipalities Monday, National Grid announced that the main lines in mostly all of the Capital District had been repaired and that many of the schools that were still suffering from a loss of power at the beginning of the week should see power by Tuesday.

All of the major power stations in Colonie, which are located on Wolf Road, Karner Road, Everett Road, Forts Ferry and Newtonville, were back on by Monday evening while many small pockets were still in the process of being fixed. There were still pockets without power in Latham and Menands as well.

In the same call, National Grid representatives gave a few statistics that showed the extent of what they are calling a winter storm event.

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