The one school district that closed due to Wednesday's wind storm in Chautauqua County will be re-opening today. Superintendent Chuck Leighner (Like-ner) says Cassadaga Valley Central Schools will open today after emergency repairs were made Thursday to a large part of the Junior-Senior High School roof, which was torn off by gusty winds early Wednesday night. Leighner says about 12-thousand to 15-thousand square feet of the rubber roof over the Central Office Wing was affected.
Leighner says the school was closed Thursday because the damage was significant... and, repairs will ultimately be extensive. He says the wind also took vents, drains and insulation off... so what was left on the ground was heavy. Leighner says they called in their roofing contractor -- Farrell Roofing -- to get the work done. He says -- if the weather stayed dry -- they would have enough temporary repairs made to resume classes Friday. He adds that the schedule for all other activities... including the high school musical -- "The Sound of Music" -- will go on as scheduled. Performances of the musical begin tonight.
The clean-up continued yesterday afternoon across Western New York following Wednesday's major wind event that hit the regioni. Wind gusts of nearly 70 miles an hour toppled trees and power lines across Chautauqua County. Utility crews are busy restoring power... but, Spokesman Steve Brady with National Grid says they still have a-ways to go in both Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties... where there will still about 25-hundred customers without power by late morning. Brady says they hope to have over 11-hundred field workers involved in restoring power, but he says it will likely take more than a day. He says they weren't able to do a full damage assessment last night... which means they don't have an exact time-line. However... he says it'll be "a multi-day event for us." There were still traffic light outages along Fairmount Avenue in the Lakewood commercial corridor Thursday morning after power was lost to the Chautauqua Mall and Wal-Mart last night. There was also an isolated outage along the north side of Main Street in Sherman. Brady says the utility is asking customers to remain aware of potential safety hazards such as damaged trees and limbs. You can report outages to ther outge reporting number...1-800-867-5222.
Utility officials say power outages in some areas of western New York hit by hurricane-force winds could last for several days as subfreezing weather approaches the region. Three utilities report a total of about 207-thousand homes and businesses without power Thursday as a result of the windstorm that tore across upstate New York, knocking down trees and utility lines. Most of the outages, more than 100,000, are in the Rochester area. Officials at all three utilities say it will be "multiple" days before customers in some stricken areas get their power restored. High winds began hitting western New York on Wednesday afternoon, knocking out power across a region stretching from the state's southwestern corner through the Buffalo area to Lake Ontario's southern shoreline.
There were no records set by the wind gusts record during Wednesday's wind event. However... some could be just as destructive. Forecaster Jeff Wood with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says the highest winds were found between Buffalo and Rochester... with an 81-mile an hour gust at the Rochester Airport. Wood says the Thruway corridor was also hit hard by the sharp winds... and that led to a brief ban on empty tractor-trailers for a few hours from Rochester to Ripley. In fact... Wood says the highest wind gust in Chautauqua County reached 69 miles an hour at a weather station near Fredonia. Also in the north county... he says the Dunkirk Lighthouse reported a 63 mph gust. Wood says cold weather is on the way for the next couple of days... as Artic air brings chilly temperatures by the weekend. Temperatures will only reach the 20s for the early part of next week.
The strong, gusty winds were seen and felt in the immediate Jamestown-area... but, few major problems were reported in the Board of Public Utilities service area. Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi says there was a fairly significant amount of tree damage. However... Teresi says there was just one outage of note that occured Wednesday afternoon. That one outage lasted about 15 minutes in the Falconer area... and Jamestown's north and east sides. The BPU says a piece of equipment got blown open by a wind gust around 3 PM. Teresi attributed the lack of outages to two things... one a well-run system that emphasizes a tree-trimming program to keep limbs away from power lines... and, he says the other factor is luck. The fastest wind gust in the immediate Jamestown-area yesterday was a 56 mile an hour gust at the County Airport in the town of Ellicott.
Authorities say con artists are exploiting immigrants' fears of deportation by posing as federal agents and demanding they pay up or else. An immigrant in New York City, for example, got a call from someone who told him he was in the U.S. illegally and would have to hand over one-thousand-550 dollars to stay. People in the U.S. without permission are seen as easy targets for such scams because they are reluctant to go to the police. As a result, authorities have found it difficult to investigate such schemes or determine how common they are. The New York attorney general's office says immigrants should know this: A real agent from ICE, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, will never ask for money.