October 24, 2021

Hundreds without electricity in wake of storm

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More than 540 utility customers remained without power this morning as 37 separate power outages dotted the greater Cortland area and utility crews worked to restore it after a Halloween storm bringing 1.8 inches of rain and 50 mph winds tore through Cortland.

The winds will continue to blow through the afternoon, with gusts up to 50 mph until 6 p.m., reports the National Weather Service.

A mudslide in Messengerville washed a hill bank onto Route 392, closing the road between Parker Street and Route 11, said Virgil First Assistant Fire Chief Jereme Stiles. State Department of Transportation crews reopened the road early this morning.

The Cayuga County Sheriff’s Department issued a travel advisory after significant flooding and power outages in Moravia and Locke.

“Many streets are covered in standing water, there are downed tree and wires and the Owasco Inlet is expected to crest around 3 a.m.,” Lt. Michael Wellauer said this morning. “Local municipalities and fire departments have closed various streets and roadways that have become impassible.”

A bridge on Potter Hill Road in Taylor washed out and is closed indefinitely, said Cincinnatus Fire Chief Shawn Scoville.

The washed out bridge came as the Otselic and Tioughnioga rivers both went over their banks. The Otselic at Cincinnatus was at 9.19 feet at 8 a.m.; flood stage is 9 feet. The Tioughnioga was at 8.15 feet and expected to crest at 8.4 feet; flood stage is 8 feet.

Fire departments across Cortland County reported dozens of branches down across roads.
Across the state, New York State Electric & Gas mobilized more than 1,400 people to begin work when 69,000 customers across the state lost power, the company reported. In the greater Cortland area, outages were reported in Lapeer, Groton, Spafford, Homer, Solon, Freetown, Cortlandville and Tully.

“The first step in the restoration process is for crews to make conditions safe for the public and clear any downed wires or trees that pose an immediate threat to public safety,” the company said in a statement. “After that, damage assessors will coordinate resources and begin restoration efforts as quickly and safely as possible.”

“We have about 230,000 people without power across the state,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo told news media this morning. “It goes from Erie County, where we’ve had flash flooding, you had 4 or 5 inches of rain with the high winds, so it goes from Erie County, less across the middle of the state, about 6,000 people in Onondaga, and then up north, the North Country, the Ausable Creek over owed, they evacuated people there.

“We’re in the Mohawk Valley right now where Herkimer and Dolgeville, Little Falls area has an emergency situation where people are being evacuated and we have the state police in swift water rescue on site now,” Cuomo added. “And it goes down to Dutchess, as far down as Dutchess County.”

Several hundred people have been evacuated across the state, Cuomo said. One death has been reported.

The National Weather Service issued a wind advisory until 6 p.m. and a flood watch until 7 p.m.