Updated: 06/18/2014 7:33 PM
Created: 06/18/2014 7:52 AM WHEC.com
Clean up continued in the region on Wednesday after storms ripped through the greater Rochester area Tuesday night.
One of the hardest hit areas was the Elmgrove Road area in Gates where there are downed trees and scattered debris. The power is finally back on. Portions of Elmgrove Road are now open to traffic, and the power is back on for people who try to earn their living there.
Michah Thaxton owns a burger stop in the area. He says normally he would be serving lunch and dinner to his customers, but instead he’s going through all the food he will have to throw out.
“All this has to be thrown away. All the chicken and meat will have to be tossed,” said Thaxton.
Debbie Licciardello had to close her child care center in the same plaza. State law says she can’t be open if the power is out for more than two hours.
“It’s very frustrating for me. It’s more frustrating for our families. It impacts them the most,” said Licciardello.
The storm hit in a flash. The rain came down in sheets, and the power lines followed. Some lines landed on Tom Vasile’s SUV while he was inside it.
“The power lines landed on my windshield, but I was able to slide underneath them and get in here. Thankfully nothing happened to the van or me,” said Vasile.
Gates Fire Chief James Harrington warns people to always be careful around downed power lines.
“In this time of year when the storms come in, if you are ever in a vehicle and power lines come down on top of it, stay in the vehicle. We will get you out safely,” said Harrington.
Crews replaced seven utility poles on one block of Elmgrove Road. Thaxton says because he has to get all new food, he won’t reopen until breakfast on Thursday.
“It gives us an extra day to clean, but it sucks because we lose all the revenue, and our workers aren’t getting paid,” said Thaxton.
Currently there are 3,031 customers, mostly in the Gates area, that are still without power. Crews say it may take some time to get power restored to all homes and businesses.