Cleanup, power restoration underway in St. Lawrence County

Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 2:56 PM EDT
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ST. LAWRENCE COUNTY, New York (WWNY) - A big cleanup and power restoration effort is underway in St. Lawrence County in the wake of Thursday’s powerful storms.

Thunderstorms and strong wind gusts brought down trees and power lines, damaged homes, and kept emergency responders working throughout the night.

County Fire and Emergency Management Director Matt Denner said that between 4:30 p.m. and 10 p.m., emergency crews responded to 415 calls.

An “all call” was put out for the county to staff all fire and rescue stations. That was rescinded at around 8:30 p.m.

“By them manning their stations, we can just call the station on the radio and say, ‘Hey, look, we have another call for you,’ and for us to get the call to them within five seconds versus 30 seconds,” said Denner.

National Grid crews were also busy restoring electricity on Friday.

A spokesman for the utility said downed trees and poles present the biggest challenges. Patrick Stella told 7 News it takes time to clear fallen trees so wires can be repaired.

He added that more than 30 utility poles fell in the county during the storm; it takes between 4 and 6 hours to replace a single pole.

Stella said nearly 500 National Grid employees, some coming from as far away as Albany and Utica, are working to restore power in the county.

According to Stella, 19,000 National Grid customers lost electricity at the height of the power outages Thursday.

He said additional outages were reported Friday morning as trees continued to fall due to the saturated ground.

According to the utility’s power outage map, more than 2,800 customers in St. Lawrence County were waiting to have service restored.

National Grid expected everyone to have their lights back on by 11:30 p.m. Friday.

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