SCHOHARIE COUNTY, N.Y. -- On a typical morning gas station owner George Sherwood has no problem getting his customers gassed up and out the door. But this was no typical morning. A power outage sparked by a broken insulator in Cobleskill left his gas station without working pumps and a run on the only hot beverage in town.
"We sold the coffee. The hot coffee as long as we had it," Sherwood said.
While many looked for coffee, thousands in the Schoharie Valley woke up with out any juice. Cobleskill was without power for nearly six hours.
"I was really worried. I was thinking I didn't pay my bill. But then I asked my roommate and she said everyone's power is out," one Cobleskill resident said.
Initially the lights went out on nearly 22,000 customers along the I-88 corridor from Albany County all the way to Otsego County.
National Grid got about 16,000 back online within a half hour, but for the remaining 6,000 it took until mid afternoon. It forced many to make changes to their morning routine.
"Usually we put stuff in the microwave to eat so we had to improvise and eat bananas and other things," Richmondville resident Bonnie Radliff said.
Schools had to improvise too.
The parking lot at Cobleskill-Richmondville High School was empty as classes were canceled and also at SUNY-Cobleskill.
"I was glad. I missed a test so it was all good," one student said.
But not so good for those low on gas and having to get to work. When gas stations could finally give the green light for fill-ups, drivers came in droves while people like Sherwood tried even harder to get them in and back out.
"In Upstate New York you just kind of bare and grin it," Sherwood said.