Press-Republican

July 12, 2013

Sudden storm knocks out power

By DENISE A. RAYMO
Press-Republican

---- — BOMBAY — A brief but powerful thunderstorm swept through the region Wednesday night, taking down trees and cutting power, mostly in northern Franklin County.

In Bombay, a downed tree temporarily blocked the CXS railroad crossing on County Road 2, and another blocked Route 95 for a short time.

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No one was injured, but plenty of limbs and branches came down across the area as a heavy downpour and gusting winds moved in about 8:40 p.m., said Emergency Services Director Ricky Provost.

“Bombay, Fort Covington, Westville and Constable got it,” he said. “Between the four departments, they had about 15 calls.

“There was power out, but most of it had been restored by this morning.”

As of 11:30 a.m., 140 National Grid customers were still without power in the Harrietstown/Tupper Lake area.

Both Essex County Emergency Services Director Don Jaquish and Clinton County Emergency Services Director Eric Day said their offices received no reports of damaging winds or other weather-related incidents.

LUCKY IN FORT COVINGTON

Any major weather event can put emergency-services officials, town leaders and volunteers on edge. But that feeling is especially keen in the Fort Covington area, which is still recovering from severe flooding last month.

“I was on my knees (praying) when it came through,” laughed Fort Covington Highway Superintendent Gerard Leroux when asked about Wednesday’s storm.

“It went more to the west of us. There were a couple of trees down on a few back roads, but it missed most of us,” he said. “We had very little damage.”

RAIL LINE BLOCKED

Bombay Fire Chief Mike Dufrane said volunteers rushed to Townsend Road at the height of the storm to remove a tree that had fallen across the CSX rail line.

“Our priority was getting that tree out of there,” he said. “We were ready to call (the company) if necessary to let them know, but that was our priority, and Route 95.

“A tree was blocking the road there, but the highway crew came with a loader and pushed it out of there, so the road was only blocked about 15 minutes,” Durant said.

He said another tree was brought down by the storm at 1600 Route 95, but luckily it was the branches, rather than the thick tree trunk, that grazed the house.

National Grid crews were to inspect the house to make sure there was no damage to the home’s electrical lines.

“We got really lucky for the amount of wind and rain we had,” the chief said. “We were lucky.”

MORE MOISTURE

National Weather Service observer Dave Werner said the Malone area saw more than three-quarters of an inch of rain the 24-hour period between 7 a.m. Wednesday and 7 a.m. Thursday.

The total rainfall for July is already 2.3 inches, compared to the historically normal rainfall for this time of year at 1.55 inches.

“And what’s really interesting is since January, the precipitation we’ve had, including melted snow, is 22.66 inches versus 17.77 inches last year,” Werner said.

He said the highest wind gust he recorded Wednesday was 38 mph.

Email Denise A. Raymo:draymo@pressrepublican.com