Press-Republican

Monday

December 23, 2013

Region escapes severe ice damage

Weekend storm slowed travel; power outages few

PLATTSBURGH — About 1,000 North Country residents were without power by the time a much-feared ice storm had passed through Sunday morning — far fewer than expected.

The storm was still disruptive — causing cancellation of most church services, postponement of events and a delay in opening at Champlain Centre mall.

Roads were rough to drive on, with a crust of ice covered by a layer of snow. But most people stayed inside, as advised by emergency responders.

Fire departments and public-works crews were busy with fallen tree limbs, especially in Lake Placid and Saranac Lake, but police reported few accidents around the North Country.

The buildup of ice on utility lines, tree branches and roadways had concerned Clinton County Emergency Services Director Eric Day.

“Slick and icy roads are dangerous enough, but adding the threat of falling limbs and downed wires compounds the problem.”

But by 4 p.m. travel bans Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties were lifted.

POWER OUTAGES

Towns with the most power outages were Ellenburg, with 379 customers out, and Dannemora, 116, in Clinton County; and Bellmont, 472 customers without power, in Franklin County, according to the New York State Electric and Gas website.

It also reported a scattering of outages in Saranac, 36; Clinton, 17; Jay, 31; and Wilmington, 32.

National Grid’s website reported 48 customers without power in Essex County, including more than 40 in North Hudson and fewer than five each in Schroon and Saranac Lake as of Sunday morning.

There were also a handful of homes without electricity in the Franklin County towns of Santa Clara, Franklin, Waverly and Brighton.

There were no power outages in the City of Plattsburgh.

Municipal Lighting Department Manager William Treacy said the city saw mostly sleet instead of freezing rain.

“Freezing rain hits the power lines and freezes and sticks, but sleet just bounces off,” he said.

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