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Weather snarls roads, electricity

Joe McIntyre/staff photographer

Fire police direct traffic at the intersections of McLean Road and Route 281 in Cortlandville today after weather conditions affected the operation of a traffic light.

A cold front and high winds moved through most of Central New York overnight, meaning about 140 Cortland County customers woke this morning to power failures, wind damage and trees down, sometimes across roads.

Chris Bistocchi, superintendent of city Department of Public Works, said workers removed dozens of branches from city streets this morning, including a larger branch, roughly 6 to 8 inches in diameter, at North Main and Samson streets around 5:30 a.m.

Traffic lights were out at Route 281 and McLean Road in Cortlandville, so Cortland County Sheriff’s officers had to direct traffic starting about 6 a.m., said Capt. Rob
Derksen.

They were relieved by fire police from the Cortlandville Fire Department about 8 a.m. around the time state Department of Transportation crews arrived.

Gene Cilento, state DOT Region 3 assistant to the regional director and public information officer, said he had not received any reports on the traffic light failure and did not have an expected restoration
time.

Ray Brady, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Binghamton, said the sharp cold front caused a 40-degree drop in temperatures and brought about wind gusts reported between 40 and 50 mph.

Temperature will remain in the upper 20s and low 30s through the day with blustery snow showers diminishing throughout the day, Brady said. “What you see is what you get,” he said.

New York State Electric & Gas Corp. regional spokesman Bob Pass said around 102 NYSEG customers were reported without power this morning.

Those include:

— Cincinnatus: 45 customers.

— Marathon: 44 customers.

— Freetown: seven customers.

— Virgil: two customers.

— Pitcher: two customers.

— Summerhill: one customer.

— German: one customer.

NYSEG started seeing reports of power failures around 6:40 a.m., Pass said.

Another 38 National Grid customers in Cortlandville reported power loss this morning, according to the National Grid Outage Map. Reports came in around 5:15 a.m. and were expected to be restored by 10:15 a.m.

The Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office had also received several complaints overnight and into the morning of trees and wires down in or near roadways due to high winds. Utility crews and local volunteer fire departments were working to clear the roadways and the office asked drivers to use caution.

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