Storm Blamed For House Fire, Outages, Minor Damage
Cindy Meeks watches as crews work to put out a fire at her home at Meeks Farms in Evans Mills.
She blames the fire on a lightening strike.
"And then, all of a sudden, lightning was flashing. In the barn, we saw like a light and a snap, like, and then when we finished up chores -- 20 minutes to half an hour later -- we come into the house and the house had smoke in it."
No one was hurt, but the house is damaged and Meeks says it was a scary experience.
"Just nervous, you know. It scares you when you see flames in your house."
Officials say they will investigate the fire to determine the exact cause, but lightning is likely to blame.
Severe thunderstorms swept quickly across the north country.
One rolled through St. Lawrence County, knocking out power and downing trees and limbs.
Power outages in DeKalb, Russell and Colton left nearly 4,000 people without electricity for a time. By 10:30 pm, that number had been reduced to 1,500.
Another 1,800 people were without power in the Potsdam area early Tuesday evening, but by 10:30 pm, that number had dropped to the low hundreds.
Smaller outages affecting about 100 people were reported in Canton and Sackets Harbor.
As of 6 a.m. Wednesday, 739 people were without power in St. Lawrence County, with another 188 in the dark in Lewis County.
Tree limbs were down on Park Street in Canton, said Joe Gilbert, St. Lawrence County's emergency services director, who also said there was a report of a house fire on Emeryville Road in the Town of Gouverneur.
Tree limbs were reported down on Ambrose Street in Sackets Harbor, Route 42 in the Town of Wilna and Route 87 in the Town of Ellisburg.
Sackets Harbor fire officials say the severe weather hit hard and fast.
"You could pretty much see the sky change and it seemed to hit real quick, like in the first 10 minutes," said Fire Chief Justin Hermann.
"It was here, then it was gone. The sky seemed to be clearing and everything already.
The storm passed quickly at Meek's farm, too. It left behind a fire-damaged home, but Meeks says at least no one was hurt.
7 News received photos of the storm as it was developing in northern Jefferson and lower St. Lawrence counties.
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Tuesday, February 9, 2016, Watertown, NY
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