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St. Lawrence County especially hard hit by storm

Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 4:42 PM EDT
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ST. LAWRENCE COUNTY, New York (WWNY) - Cleanup and power restoration continued Wednesday in St. Lawrence County. Tuesday’s storm cut a wide swath of damage.

Trees felled in front of Norwood Muncipal Hall. Power knocked out in locations across the county. And there’s a video on Facebook showing a rotating funnel cloud off County Route 55 near Helena.

“I noticed it was starting to get lower and there was some rotation in it. And it seemed to start building. And I realized I should probably get moving,” said Matthew Jock, Madrid resident.

Jock’s Facebook post garnered 19,000 views by afternoon. The National Weather Service in Burlington says it looks to be a funnel cloud with rotation. In some cases, they can be a precursor to a tornado.

“Those reports are very helpful to us to determine how strong the storms are,” said Paul Sisson, National Weather Service Burlington meteorologist in charge.

The NWS received another report putting wind speed at Ogdensburg airport at 63 miles-per-hour. Joe Murray says it felt that way on Cherry Street in Potsdam, too.

“All of sudden we just heard a crash, and it was just a roar, like, and we looked out and it was just gray coming straight coming down – and, like, crazy,” said Murray, Potsdam resident.

Crews were still cleaning up there in the morning. On Lower Pine Street, National Grid crews were getting power restored. During and right after the storm, St. Lawrence County dispatch received 100 calls.

“We did receive an overabundance of 911 calls all in short period of time,” said Matt Denner, St. Lawrence County Emergency Services director.

A request went out to staff all fire stations. National Grid had 160 crews ready to go in the north country. Power outages peaked at about 9,000 in St. Lawrence County on Tuesday.

Norwood, Potsdam, West Stockholm, Parishville, and Ogdensburg appeared to see the heaviest storm damage.

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