Power outage leaves state park in the dark

The Nicandri Nature Center is closed through at least Sunday because of a power outage at Robert Moses State Park. Christopher Lenney/Watertown Daily Times

MASSENA — A Sunday night power outage has left Robert Moses State Park in the dark.

New York Power Authority officials said some electrical equipment in the Power Authority’s switch yard was damaged during a period of heavy storms.

“The exact cause has not been determined. Restoring electric service to the Park facilities is a top priority for NYPA and we hope to have the power restored by early next week,” they said in an emailed statement.

The power outage also caused program outages at the Nicandri Nature Center.

“The nature center will remain closed through 6/20 due to a power outage. All programs at the site are also canceled. We apologize for any inconvenience and hope to see everyone back as soon as the lights are on,” they said in a Facebook post.

But there was still one recreation option open at the nature center — six miles of trails, no reservations required.

“Trails remain open dawn to dusk daily and we encourage you to come get a walk in and explore,” nature center officials said.

Anyone with questions was encouraged to call them at 315-705-5022, send a message via Facebook or send an email to info@massenanaturecenter.com.

Officials with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation said they’re addressing campers who are either on-site or planned to come to Robert Moses State Park.

“Campground reservations have been canceled through June 21. Campers have been offered refunds or spots at other state parks,” they said in an emailed statement.

They said no bathrooms or running water are available, and Barnhart Beach has not yet opened for the season.

The power outage comes at a time when the state was starting to reopen for business. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo had announced Tuesday afternoon that most of the state’s mandated coronavirus restrictions were lifted after more than 70% of New York adults had received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose to be inoculated against the upper respiratory disease.

The pandemic-era rules were immediately lifted for sports and recreational centers, construction, manufacturing and trade, food services, offices, real estate, agriculture, gyms, malls, movie theaters, personal care services and more.

COVID continues to keep one tourist attraction closed. The Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation had announced earlier this year that the Dwight D. Eisenhower Visitors’ Center, located at the U.S. Eisenhower Lock in Massena, would remain closed to the public until further notice. In the past, the facility has typically opened on Memorial Day weekend.

A north overlook parking lot near the Eisenhower Lock remains available for visitors to view ships at any time.

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