Tonawanda News

Local News

November 2, 2013

Wind rips through region

Tonawanda News — TOWN OF TONAWANDA — High winds caused widespread power outages and downed trees Friday in the Tonawandas, with one silver maple crashing into a town home.

The backyard tree fell on a duplex on Claremont Avenue Friday morning at 8 a.m., Building Inspector Carl Heimiller said.

“The tree ended up in the second story bedroom. It had crashed through the ceiling and the upper story, and took out about three or four rafters,” he said.

Six to eight feet of the tree’s trunk had rotted. Town workers reported to the home, cut up the tree and removed it from the structure. 

Another tree fell onto a home on Devonshire Road and damaged gutters, Highway Superintendent William Swanson said. Another downed tree in the Sheridan Parkside neighborhood fell onto four parked cars.

“We have a lot of branches we are dealing with, too,” Swanson said. 

Wind gusts reached 58 mph in the region Friday, the National Weather Service reported, leading to widespread power outages.

More than a thousand residents in the Tonawandas were without power throughout the day due to the wind storm. In North Tonawanda, more than 850 residents were without power due to an unspecified problem near the sub station of Ridge Road, Stephen Brady, of National Grid, said.

The cause of the outage in the center part of the city hasn’t been determined, but Brady said it was likely caused by strong wind gusts Friday.

“We’ve got a lot of tree branches down and while the gusts haven’t been horrible, they’ve peaked in some areas,” he said.

Meanwhile, wind gusts toppled a utility pole behind Grant Street school causing a power outage at the facility. Grant Street was blocked off Friday morning as crews worked on the down pole, said Karen Swaidner of the North Tonawanda superintendent’s office.

The universal pre-K program at the school was cancelled for the day.

In Kenmore, a couple hundred residents were also without power this morning after a large willow tree brought down utility poles and wires on Colvin Boulevard near the border with Buffalo, Brady said.

Power was restored to all residents in the area by 4 p.m.

Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000 ext. 4150, or follow her on Twitter @JessicaLBagley.

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