Wind raises a.m. havoc
Wind gusts exceeding 60 mph overnight and this morning had emergency crews busy with countless reports of everything from power outages and downed trees to a tractor-trailer truck on its side on Interstate 490 in Monroe County, near Victor.
The winds knocked out power for thousands of residents across the region, beginning about 5 a.m. Some 20,000 Rochester Gas & Electric customers lost power, which included customers in most every town, said Dick Marion, RG&E spokesman.
“It was a pretty devastating storm,” said Marion, noting that crews began preparing for the onslaught of downed wires Tuesday when the weather report indicated high winds were expected overnight.
“We got crews out and opened the call center,” he added.
With high winds expected to continue throughout the day, customers may continue to experience outages, Marion added. Falling limbs often get caught in trees and don’t fall on lines until after the worst of a storm is over, he noted.
Ontario County emergency crews responded to reports of 26 downed wires from a number of locations, including: Taylor Road in Hopewell; County Road 8 at the county line in Farmington; Goose Street in Gorham; and at North Wayne Street in Phelps. That doesn’t include calls to remove trees and other debris blocking roads.
The North Wayne Street incident was a close call. According to Ontario County Sheriff’s Sgt. David Frasca, at about 6 a.m. the wind blew a tree onto electrical wires and knocked a utility pole tangled in wires on top of a pickup truck that was being driven on the street. The driver was not hurt, but he was told to stay put as a safety precaution while electrical company crews were sent to the scene to assess the situation.
Frasca said it had been a hectic morning, between reports of trees and utility poles down, power outages and debris in roadways. A transformer fire was reported at Route 96 and Interstate 490 in Victor this morning.
At about 9 a.m., emergency crews fielded calls about a trampoline blowing around on Limestone Lane in Farmington.
“There have been a lot of fire departments out, and most of the deputies are out on calls for service,” said Frasca. “We have things, I think, pretty much under control. It’s just very busy for us.”
The high winds also affected parts of Wayne, Yates and Monroe counties.
Gananda schools were canceled today because of widespread power outages in Walworth and Macedon. It was apparently recycling day in Macedon, as the winds had blown scores of recycling bins onto Route 31, forcing drivers to navigate around them. Likewise, trash bins littered roadways across the region.
In Palmyra, Garlock Sealing Technologies canceled its first shift because of a problem with an electrical transformer. About 15 miles east, a large section of Route 31 was closed in Arcadia and Newark.
In Greece, a traffic light at the corner of English and Long Pond roads blew off the line.
In Irondequoit, the worst hit area was near Eastridge High School.
Irondequoit's commissioner of public works, Marty Piecuch, said a large tree was uprooted and fell on a house near the intersection of Winfield and Kane drives. Other heavy damage was on Orland Road, Abington Road and on Perrin Drive, he said. Irondequoit police closed down a portion of Culver Road south of East Ridge Road due to a tree and wires down across the road, Piecuch said.
Piecuch said town DPW crews were starting with trees and limbs blocking roads, then moving to trees with dangerously hanging limbs and trees in town rights-of-way that had been uprooted.
"A lot of trees are down and there's a lot of structural damage," he
said. "And, it's still windy."
According to News 10NBC (WHEC-TV) weather report, winds gusts from the west will be 40 to 50 mph at times today. It will remain mostly cloudy with temperatures falling to about 40 degrees this afternoon. Tonight, winds will subside and temperatures will fall into the upper 20s.
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Includes reporting by the Post newspapers and the Courier-Journal. Contact Julie Sherwood or Jessica Pierce at (585) 394-0770, or at jsherwood @mpnewspaperscom or firstname.lastname@example.org.