Less of a problem

The Robert Moses-Robert H. Saunders Power Dam on the St. Lawrence River straddles the border between the United States and Canada. The Hawkins Point Visitors Center in Massena can be seen in the foreground. Christopher Lenney/Watertown Daily Times

MASSENA — The New York Power Authority has 16 employees living at its Massena facility in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

The Massena employees are among 85 employees who are being housed in NYPA facilities across the state to make sure the plants keep operating and essential workers stay healthy.

While this strategy has been used by NYPA before, such as during Superstorm Sandy, it has never been done at the Massena operation, according to Paul DeMichele, media relations manager for NYPA.

All of the workers have been tested for the coronavirus, Mr. DeMichele said in an email exchange with the Times.

The workers moved into the facility Friday night.

Mr. DeMichele said the plan is for the employees to work shifts of four weeks. That may be reduced, he said.

The term for the operation is sequestration of essential personnel.

“The protocol for this has always been part of our pandemic planning. The specifics for this event began several weeks ago,” Mr. DeMichele wrote.

NYPA operates 16 generating units in Massena that produce 820,800 kilowatts of electricity, more than enough to light a city the size of Washington, D.C.

NYPA’s statewide power operations contribute about 25 percent of New York’s power.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

St. Lawrence/Franklin County Editor

Slowly self-propelled. Two-time cancer survivor. Nearly 30-year newspaper veteran.

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(1) comment


I'm glad to hear SOMEBODY had a pandemic plan in place and personnel trained on it.

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