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Wind gusts knock out power lines, cause outages

Wind gusts knock out power lines, cause outages

Wind gusts knock out power lines, cause outages
National Grid crews work on replacing a pole that snapped when a tree fell on wires in Clifton Park.
Photographer: Erica Miller

CAPITAL REGION -- High winds on Monday brought down large tree branches and power lines, causing power outages and road closures across the Capital Region.

The region was under a high wind warning until 7 p.m. on Monday evening, with National Grid crews hopping from outage to outage throughout the afternoon.

On Monday afternoon, more than 1,700 National Grid customers in Clifton Park had lost power, though that number was lowered to around 200 by 5:30 p.m. The storm's effects could be seen in town, with large plastic trash bins being blown from people's homes and branches falling down, often landing in the middle of roads.

The storm hit other areas in the Capital Region as well. At one point, 4,000 were without power in a swath through Glenville into Saratoga County and south through Schenectady County. In Schenectady County, there were 1,694 customers without power at 5:30 p.m, and more 7,000 people affected in Albany County.

According to Nate Stone, a spokesman for National Grid in eastern New York, the power outages were the direct result of winds taking down branches that took down power lines. 

"The wind is just taking trees down, taking our lines down, and breaking poles," he said.

"Our crews are out there working around the clock. They're dealing with removing broken poles right now and will continue to do that until they're done," Stone said. He noted that extra crews had been called in to help remove fallen trees from power lines.

Images: Heavy winds leave damage in Clifton Park

According to a press release from the utility company on Monday evening, a force of close to 2,000 workers were active across central and eastern New York removing downed wires, trees, tree limbs, broken poles and other hazards, focusing on public safety and restoring power to customers.

The company cautioned that, since wind conditions were expected to continue throughout the evening, the potential for further power interruptions in the region was high.

Top recorded wind gusts around the region Monday as recorded by the National Weather Service were 53 miles per hour at Albany International Airport at 12:27 p.m.; 46 miles per hour in Milton at 5:14 a.m.; and 58 miles per hour in Schenectady at 1:15 p.m.

The winds also caused a number of road closures and affected some area businesses. Around 4 p.m. the Guilderland Police Department sent out an advisory saying that Carman Road would be closed between Coons and Lone Pine roads due to hazardous road conditions.

Hurst Road in Guilderland was also closed, and Maple Ski Ridge in Rotterdam was forced to cancel its Monday night Nordic skiing.

Ray O'Keefe, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Albany, said Monday's storm was the area's heaviest windstorm the area had seen in the last few years. He recalled a storm in February 2006 that saw similar wind speeds, but noted that Monday's prolonged and blustering winds were "significant."

"This is certainly the strongest storm we've seen in two or three years," he said on Monday evening.  

 

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