Feedback: Potsdam Recovers From Violent Storm
Things have improved in Potsdam following Tuesday's violent storm.
One big thunderstorm punched the village of Potsdam and surrounding areas Tuesday afternoon, leaving torn off roofs, damaged buildings and thousands without electricity.
A state of emergency and travel ban were lifted early Wednesday morning, although officials still warn residents to expect delays and to be careful of downed trees and power lines.
As of around noon Wednesday, National Grid reports 1,r00 customers are without power in St. Lawrence County, down from a high of 10,000. The company expects power to be restored by around 8 p.m.
Even areas away from Potsdam felt the effects of the storm: power outages were reported from Lisbon to Brasher Falls.
For all the damage the storm did, there were no reports of serious injury.
The American Red Cross set up an emergency shelter at Norwood-Norfolk Central school Tuesday night for anyone without a place to stay.
SUNY Potsdam cancelled classes for the night. The campus sustained some damage - roofs blown off - and officials said they expected to be housing students in a couple of buildings on campus where power could be provided.
About 200 incoming students and their parents were on campus for freshman orientation. The college gave them the option of going home or staying on campus and weathering the storm.
About 30 students and their parents elected to stay.
Clarkson University reported that while everyone on campus was safe, the university's downtown facilities "sustained significant...damage."
Classes will resume as normal Wednesday on both campuses.
By far the worst damage was in the heart of downtown, where wind blew the roof off Sergi's Pizza and damaged Sergi's and several other buildings. At least 20 people were evacuated from the buildings, among them, Sergi's employee Tom Patrick.
"We started getting scared the roof would come down on us. We had just opened and we started getting customers out," he said.
"I'm out of a job and the building is destroyed."
Sergi's owner Frank Spagnolo said Wednesday he plans to rebuild his business, which his parents started 45 years ago.
One man was trapped briefly in a liquor store next to Sergi's, before firefighters could free him.
The roof also came off Evans & White True Value Hardware, around the corner from the restaurant.
Village Administrator Dave Fenton said three of the damaged downtown buildings had to be condemned. Three others were heavily damaged, but should be repaired and back in business "very shortly."
Trees, utility poles and power lines were down throughout the village, causing damage to vehicles, homes and other property.
Click on the picture to see our wrap-up of the storm Tuesday night.
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