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Colliding storm fronts bring high winds, outages

Colliding storm fronts bring high winds, outages

Strong winds out of the west — some gusts as high as 50 mph — caused scattered power outages through
Colliding storm fronts bring high winds, outages
The driver of a pickup truck makes a phone call after a tree fell on her truck as she drove along Eastern Parkway in Schenectady on Wednesday.
Photographer: Peter R. Barber

Strong winds out of the west — some gusts as high as 50 mph — caused scattered power outages throughout the Capital Region on Wednesday.

The winds died down somewhat Wednesday afternoon but picked back up in the evening, causing more outages in Schenectady, Saratoga, Fulton and Albany counties.

Robert Smerbeck, a senior meteorologist with Accuweather.com, said winds were still gusting between 36 and 40 mph at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Albany International Airport, but would diminish.

“It’s going to be a beautiful day,” Smerbeck said about today. The sun will be out much of the day and the temperature could reach 64 degrees.

As of 8 p.m. Wednesday there were 3,692 National Grid customers without power in Schenectady County and 1,829 customers out in Saratoga County.

Rotterdam alone had 2,021 without power and Glenville 947 Wednesday evening.

In Fulton County more than 7,000 customers were without power at 8 p.m. Wednesday, with Gloversville, 4,882 and Johnstown, 1,575, the hardest hit.

Deputy Chief Scott Doherty of the Schenectady Fire Department said the strong winds brought down limbs and trees, temporarily blocking several streets, including Park Place near Union College and Olean at 14th Street.

Shortly before 7 p.m. a tree limb came down on a pickup truck at Eastern Parkway and Parkland. Doherty said a woman was in the vehicle at the time but was not injured.

The Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department also reported some trees down and power lines sparking in Clifton Park and Charlton.

Earlier Wednesday more than 3,000 were without power in parts of Albany County.

This number dropped to about 250 by 5:30 p.m. Wednesday but jumped back up to 2,800 National Grid customers by 8 p.m., according to the National Grid Web site.

The largest outages Wednesday evening in Albany County were 1,600 in Colonie and 167 in Guilderland.

National Grid estimated most of the customers would have their power back by late Wednesday night or early this morning. Crews were out throughout the region Wednesday night “working to restore service as quickly as possible,” said Karen Young, a spokeswoman.

The strong, gusty winds were caused by a pressure gradient between a high pressure system coming out of the west and a low pressure cold front coming down through northern New York State, said Smerbeck.

This storm center passed across New York State and was heading out toward Maine and the Atlantic Ocean by Wednesday night.

The National Weather Service in Albany said today will be nice but rain will return on Friday with highs about 60 degrees.

The weather will clear by Saturday afternoon with sun Saturday afternoon and most of Sunday with highs in the upper 50s.

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