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Power restored in Rockville Centre

Corner of Park Avenue and Sunrise Highway in

Corner of Park Avenue and Sunrise Highway in Rockville Centre. (May 29, 2012) Credit: Newsday/Jim Staubitser

A power outage that affected about three-quarters of the Village of Rockville Centre into Tuesday afternoon is over, a village official said.

The outage occurred when a transformer blew at about 10:53 a.m., said Chuck Gennario, Rockville Centre police commissioner.

Power to all 7,500 customers who were affected was restored shortly before 4 p.m., said Jeff Kluewer, spokesman for the village.

As of about 1:15 p.m., backup generators had restored most of the power, with the rest expected to be restored by about 2:45 p.m., Gennario said.

The cause is being investigated, Gennario said.

Coincidentally, the outage came on the same day as a public hearing is to be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Village Hall on a proposed 11-percent electrical rate increase.

The increase would be for operating expenses that are unrelated to the transformer that failed, said Kluewer. The last increase took effect in 2004, he said.

While Rockville Centre uses LIPA's distribution lines, the village has its own power plant and substations, and a long-term contract with the New York Power Authority, he said.

Mostly power is imported, he said, but on Tuesday the village turned to its own power plant for electricity.

As a result of the outage, one school -- Riverside Elementary -- was dismissed early, Gennario said.

Molloy College has canceled both day and evening classes, according to the school's website

When the outage first occurred, traffic lights were out in downtown Rockville Centre, police officers were directing traffic and many people were standing around outside shops. Most of the north-south roads crossing Sunrise Highway and Merrick Road were closed.

With Jim Staubitser

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