POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -- Central Hudson representatives and members of the Poughkeepsie Fire Department responded to a manhole fire on Catherine Street Tuesday morning.
"It's affected really the central business district, I'm being told, from Columbus Drive to South Clinton Street, that intersection," said Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison. "Most of the traffic signals are out in that core area from arterial to arterial."
“Right now, we don't have a definitive reason for the fault, but typically, this sort of thing happens because of environmental conditions within a manhole,” said Central Hudson Media Relations Director John Maserjian.
Central Hudson said 830 customers were affected by the outage. Crews worked through the afternoon to restore power.
"We had about 12 calls that came in due to the power outage, burglar alarms and at least one stuck elevator on Market Street, but other than the main incident here on Catherine, we really didn’t have any residual issues," Rolison said.
Officials said electrical fires often happen during the winter months.
"Road salts often get into a manhole and cause a cable to short-circuit," Maserjian said. "Problems with underground systems do crop up during the wintertime, especially. It’s not an overly common problem, but yeahm we do see these problems come up in the wintertime."
With temperatures below freezing, city officials were monitoring the situation to keep residents safe while the power was out.
"[We're] making sure that we keep our staff in place and work with Central Hudson, and that is ongoing to see how long this will be out, and then taking whatever appropriate steps to keep people safe and the possibility of keeping them warm," Rolison said.
Fire officials said two women suffered from smoke inhalation but were treated at the scene.