January 21, 2013

High winds wreak havoc


---- — PLATTSBURGH — High winds that blew through the North Country Sunday afternoon left hundreds of area residents without power and Phil Hunter without much of his roof.  

Hunter told the Press-Republican he was inside his mobile home at 2 Old Orchard St. in Morrisonville when a powerful gust tore the tin roof off of his establishment. 

”All of a sudden, I heard this roar, and I could feel the trailer shaking,” Hunter said. 

Before coming to rest nearly 150 feet from his home, according to Hunter, the roof tugged at surrounding power lines, causing a power pole to fall over onto the roof of his neighbor’s trailer, located at 10 Old Orchard St. 

No one was injured in the incident, he said, and damage to his neighbor’s trailer was minimal. Emergency workers turned off power to the homes, and residents were unable to stay there. 

Hunter said he hoped to get a generator to heat his trailer and wanted to patch up the roof so he could occupy the space again as soon as possible. 

In addition, several power lines and trees were reportedly knocked down by the strong winds in Clinton and Franklin counties, though few in Essex County. 

Director of Clinton County Emergency Services Eric Day said Sunday afternoon that county dispatchers had received 15 to 20 calls regarding downed trees and power lines.

At about 2 p.m., NYSEG was reporting that 897 of its customers in Clinton County, 38 in Franklin County and 22 in Essex County were without power. 

And According to the National Grid, another 285 people were powerless in its coverage area south of Malone, 24 near Saranac Lake and 40 near Black Brook. 

In addition, the Associated Press reported that more then 16,000 residents of western and central New York lost power as a result of the winter winds.

In Clinton County, trees were said to have fallen in the road near 348 Wood Falls Road in Altona, 28 Daytona Boulevard in Plattsburgh and North Star Road near Hemmingford Road in Mooers. 

Power lines were also reported to have fallen in the roadway near 31 Stratton Hill Road in West Chazy.

Day said utilities crews were working to restore power in areas where it had been lost. He did not expect any long-term outages. 

A portion of Cornelia Street in Plattsburgh was also closed Sunday afternoon amid concerns that the high winds might cause materials to come loose from a nearby construction site. 

The street was blocked between Beekman Street and Draper Avenue beginning at about 1 p.m. while University Police monitored the site where SUNY Plattsburgh’s new academic building is being erected.

There were conflicting reports about whether a piece of scaffolding actually fell from the building, located at the corner of Draper Avenue and Cornelia Street. 

According to University Police, the road was only expected to be closed temporarily and no injuries were reported. 

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