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The Times
  • Wind leaves downed trees, power lines

  • The storm that blew through Herkimer County Monday night and into Tuesday left behind downed trees and power lines.

    “It was more of a wind event than anything else,” said Steve Napolitano, deputy director of emergency services for Herkimer County. “There can be and there was some structural damage. There was some localized damage. It could have been far worse.”

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  • The storm that blew through Herkimer County Monday night and into Tuesday left behind downed trees and power lines.
    “It was more of a wind event than anything else,” said Steve Napolitano, deputy director of emergency services for Herkimer County. “There can be and there was some structural damage. There was some localized damage. It could have been far worse.”
    He said people were more prepared than they might have been due to media reports about the approach of Hurricane Sandy and its likely impact on the area.
    Napolitano said emergency operations were going well. “We’ve deactivated the emergency operations center,” he said. “We’ve had excellent cooperation from the state Department of Transportation, New York State Police and the state Office of Emergency Management.”
    He said local officials were in contact with the Office of Emergency Management on a regular basis.
    “We had brought in additional staff for the 911 center and we had excellent cooperation from the county, towns and villages in deploying resources when and where they were needed,” said Napolitano.
    While most area schools were back in session Tuesday, Richfield Springs and Owen D. Young schools were closed due to the storm. Herkimer County Community College reopened Tuesday after closing early Monday, but those traveling up Lou Ambers Drive to the college ran into a detour; a tree had fallen, knocking down wires.
    “The tree has been removed, but the roadway is still closed due to low hanging wire,” Rebecca Ruffing of the HCCC public relations office reported early Tuesday afternoon. “We are waiting for National Grid to move the wires.”
    Later she reported that as of 3:45 p.m., the road was open to traffic.
    In Ilion, Mayor John Stephens lifted the ban on parking and vehicles in the street that had been put into effect Monday.
    Montgomery County also lifted its state of emergency and travel advisory on Tuesday.
    The number of calls to local fire departments varied. Herkimer firefighters had a half-dozen weather-related calls, all for downed wires and trees. The most severe was at the end of North Main Street where a tree fell on a house. Several trees fell, blocking a dead-end road that provides some local residents access to their driveways.
    In Little Falls, there were a few calls for downed wires and trees. The wind tore the roof off a porch, according to reports.
    The Dolgeville Fire Department was dispatched to seven calls including a tree on a garage at 162 S. Main St., a tree in the road near 16 Millers Grove Rd., downed electrical wires on North Helmer Avenue and a report of a building in the road near 271 Peckville Rd. Dolgeville Volunteer Fire Department Information Officer Roger Cromer said the latter call came in about 4:27 a.m. An outbuilding had been blown into the road and firefighters had to cut it into sections to remove it, he said.
    Page 2 of 2 - Ilion firefighters reported they received no storm-related calls from Monday into Tuesday afternoon. A couple of trees were knocked down in Russell Park and a tree on someone’s property, but there no wires involved.
    National Grid released a statement Tuesday saying crews would “continue to work around the clock on remaining service interruptions. As of 1 p.m., electric service had been restored to more than 20,000 homes and business from Buffalo to Albany.
    According to the statement, “Company officials expect to complete restoration in most areas by late tonight, with only small number of services expected to carry over into Wednesday in the Herkimer and Gloversville areas as a result of significant tree and equipment damage. Safety remains a priority, as customers are urged to continue to use caution around any wires, trees or limbs that might be on the ground.”
    New York State Electric and Gas crews were also busy restoring power to some 685 customers in Otsego County, mostly in the town of Otsego where 460 customers were reported without power.
    The Utica Zoo was closed Tuesday. Zoo officials said there had been no problems, but were exercising caution in making the decision.
    State Assemblyman Marc Butler reported Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s request for a federal emergency declaration has been honored, meaning New York will receive federal assistance and resources to state and local governments as well as technical assistance in support of the state’s response to Hurricane Sandy.
    According to meteorologists at WKTV, a wind advisory remained in effect for Central New York through Tuesday afternoon.

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