I'm just outside of Buffalo and we have power here, but a lot of places around me are out. It's hit and miss. One local TV station has been reporting that a coal burning power generating plant in Dunkirk NY, about 30 miles south east of Buffalo, had a loud "roaring" sound for about 30 seconds, followed by a loud boom. This happened about 4:15pm, right around the time the grid went down. No word if it was coincidental or part of the cause.
Im a Boiler Operator at the Dunkirk Generating plant that supposedly had the explosion, and was there! Everything is fine, what was heard was safety valves on all 6 boilers lifting from a rapid pressure increase(about 2750 PSI) at the time the generators tripped, caused by a very rapid reactive voltage drop on the grid. This was followed by a normal puff of flyash from the stacks when the coal fires in the boilers are extinguished by a master fuel trip.. Everything worked exactly as designed without even a hiccup. But man was it intense for about a half hour... Lots of equipment to deal with all at once.