SCHENECTADY — For the second straight day, a severe thunderstorm walloped the Schenectady area, leaving pockets of the region without power.
One Bellevue resident says he’s lucky to be alive after a massive tree fell late Monday, narrowly missing his family's Hugh Street home.
“It was inches from the house,” said Seanne Angie. “I heard a loud crack and bang and this is what’s left.”
The tree was so close, in fact, it ripped down the American flag hanging from his front porch.
“I don’t know what a rain version of a whiteout is, but that’s what it was,” Angie said.
On the advice on his wife, Angie moved his truck just moments earlier. But his son’s Toyota Corolla, which was parked nearby, suffered significant back-end damage.
“The car can be replaced,” he said.
The massive tree was hollow inside, and also ripped up a section of the sidewalk.
Neighbor Curt Breithling witnessed the episode from his home across the street.
“I was very surprised,” he said. “And then everything went black.”
The storm also felled a tree on nearby Thew Street and appeared to damage a transformer located behind Living Resources on nearby Guilderland Avenue.
Residents described a bright glow in the darkness.
“All of a sudden, [the tree] was down and that was on fire,” said Liz Blake, gesturing toward the site.
Work crews were at the site Monday morning and residents said power had been restored by late Monday.
The storm kept firefighters and utility crews busy. Schenectady firefighters reported responding to 48 calls through the night.
Meanwhile, National Grid officials reported crews would work around the clock to ensure power would be restored to everyone.
Numerous pockets around Schenectady and Rotterdam continued to be without power on Tuesday morning, including a stretch of businesses and government buildings along Hamburg Street in Rotterdam.
Among them was Coldbrook Plaza, closing the county Board of Elections and forcing neighboring Companion Animal Medical to rely on a backup generator.
Nearby Schenectady County Unified Communications Center did have power, and a tree removal crew was visible behind the facility.
Power remained out to about 250 people in Schenectady County and southern Saratoga County by late Tuesday afternoon. Another 870 customers remained without power in the Glens Falls area, according to National Grid numbers.