High winds contribute to power outages
Winds that reached 60 mph on Saturday morning contributed to a number of power outages across Western New York.
National Grid’s Western New York crews on Sunday were working around the clock and restored service to 36,600, or 94%, of the 39,000 customers impacted by the weekend’s damaging windstorm that brought gusts of more than 70 mph in some areas. In preparation for the storm, the company increased weekend staffing and work shifts, and pre-positioned crews and materials in areas anticipated to be hardest hit by incoming weather.
“Public safety is our top priority as our crews are in the field in challenging conditions, removing debris, repairing widespread damage and restoring service across the region,” said Matt Barnett, National Grid’s Vice President of New York Electric Operations. “We are working closely with local officials, first responders and key emergency response personnel to coordinate our restoration efforts.”
Among the hardest hit areas include Allegany, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara and Wyoming Counties. The company’s workforce will continue to restore service throughout the day, with impacted customers expected to be returned to service by 11:30 p.m. Sunday. Isolated and scattered single customer outages in the areas seeing the most significant wind damage could potentially extend into Monday morning. National Grid crews said they were doing everything within their control to complete restoration as quickly and as safely as possible.
Highest winds on Saturday were reported in Dunkirk at 60 mph, Fredonia had gusts of 56 mph and Forestville had 47 mph, according to the National Weather Service. Thunderstorms also rolled through the region during the afternoon.
In Fredonia, damage was reported at village hall where at least one window came crashing down from an upper floor. That portion of the sidewalk and the village hall entrance on Church Street was closed to pedestrians.