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The Times
  • Storms cause power outages, limited damage

  • Storms that rolled through the Mohawk Valley overnight Monday damaged an electrical conductor next to the Gems Along the Mohawk complex in Herkimer, causing power outages throughout the county.

    “We had a conductor come down on one of our towers near the Thruway,” said Patrick Stella, National Grid spokesperson, during a telephone interview on Tuesday. “This caused the initial outage.”

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  • Storms that rolled through the Mohawk Valley overnight Monday damaged an electrical conductor next to the Gems Along the Mohawk complex in Herkimer, causing power outages throughout the county.
    “We had a conductor come down on one of our towers near the Thruway,” said Patrick Stella, National Grid spokesperson, during a telephone interview on Tuesday. “This caused the initial outage.”
    Stella said National Grid employees were able to reroute power to get service back to customers as quickly as possible. He said once the conductor was fixed, power would be transferred back to it without any interruption to customers.
    The first outages were reported Monday evening as a line of storms began pummeling Central New York with rain, golf-ball sized hail and high winds.
    The heavy rain caused streets and underpasses to flood in Rome.
    “It came in waves and they seemed to get worse with each wave,” said WUTR meteorologist Jeff Matthews during a telephone interview on Tuesday about the series of storms that passed through the region. He said reported damage was due to straight line winds and hail.
    “There were reports of hail up to two inches just north of the Utica and Rome area, including Remsen, Norway and Russia,” he said.
    Matthews said the storms started around 6:20 p.m. Monday, and the serious storms “really didn’t finish until 12:45 a.m., but even then there were still a few more.”
    Matthews said a National Weather Service site was down at the former Griffiss Air Force Base, so wind gusts and rain amounts available are only estimates.
    The estimated wind gusts were up to 60 miles per hour.
    Matthews also noted the straight line wind damage means all of the trees were blown down in the same direction.
    The storms knocked down power lines across the Thruway at Herkimer, closing Interstate 90 in both directions for about 30 minutes early Tuesday. Traffic lights were reported out in the village near Wal-Mart and at the State and Bellinger streets intersection.
    There were 12,000 homes and businesses without power during the height of the outage in the Mohawk Valley, which stretches from Syracuse to Little Falls, according to Stella.
    He said as of Tuesday afternoon, there were still some outages in the Mohawk Valley and scattered outages in Oswego County.
    “We’re trying to have all our customers back up by later this evening,” said Stella on Tuesday afternoon. Most outages were restored by noon on Tuesday.
    While outages were widespread, damage in the area was limited, according to Herkimer County Emergency Services Coordinator Robert Vandawalker.
    “There were a few trees down and wires down,” he said, noting the primary one that fell across the Thruway.
    Though there were few scattered thunderstorms in some weather reports, Matthews said the forecast was mainly clear for the overnight.
    Page 2 of 2 -  Contributing: The Associated Press
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