Cleanup underway as crews work to restore power

Updated: January 13, 2020 06:41 AM
Created: January 12, 2020 06:39 AM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) -- High winds knocked out power to hundreds of people across the Rochester area on Sunday, but crews are at work trying to restore it.

At noon on Sunday, RG&E, National Grid, and NYSEG report more than 5,000 customers without power in Monroe, Ontario, Genesee, Livingston, and Orleans counties. As of 6:30 a.m. Monday, the number of people without power in those counties is down below 200.


According to RG&E, all power is expected to be restored by 4 p.m. Monday.

Wind gusts approaching 70 mph were reported in Buffalo and Batavia.

In Spencerport, utility workers were out at dawn to deal with trees knocked over onto power lines on Colby Road. As the rain and wind picked up, public safety agencies and public officials urged drivers to be careful and watch out for trees, limbs, and other debris that had been blown onto the roads.

"We are carefully monitoring the ongoing wind storm this morning. For your safety, stay away from any downed powerlines," Monroe County Executive Adam Bello tweeted.

In Rochester, Javier DeLeon had a rude awakening when a huge branch fell and yanked a line right off the back of his house, making him worry it would set the place on fire.

"All you see through the window there [is] a flash of light," he said. "I'd like a lightning 'kachung!'"

In Brighton, firefighters ended up working in tandem with utility crews after the winds set off a chain reaction: a tree went down near the town dump on Browncroft Road, and that brought down power lines which brought down still more tree limbs and power lines until the wires were blocking the entrance to the Landing Heights apartment complex.

"It's the normal things that we deal with in upstate New York sometimes in the winter, but they've all been wires and tree limbs on wires and things like that," Brighton Fire Chief Aaron Hiller said.

Meanwhile, back in the city, Xavier DeLeon was trying to keep his family warm and trying to keep his kids from burning too much battery from their phones. He says he called RG&E but understands he'll have to wait.

How long he'll have to wait ultimately will depend on the situation and what kind of resources the power company has available for work.

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