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Sheriff issues warning to motorists, storm cancels classes

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"POTSDAM - Following severe thunderstorms that have impacted a large part of the county, St. Lawrence County Sheriff Kevin M. Wells issued a statement reminding motorists to be cautious of storm damage and crews working to clean up the storm.

“Public needs to be aware that areas of the county have been hit by a severe thunderstorm and everyone needs to be alert for trees in the road, power lines down, flooded roads and basements and other damage that may cause safety factors for everyone,” he said. “This line of thunderstorms has not only caused electrical outages but also structural damage to buildings.”

Mr. Wells further warned, “Please drive with care, be aware of your surroundings and exercise caution as emergency response personnel, highway and DPW crews and Utility Companies are out doing their jobs. Emergency Services Dispatch is handling a large volume of calls and everyone is reminded that 911 is for emergency calls and other calls can go through regular lines.”

The storm, which appears to have hit the Potsdam area the hardest, has led to the cancellation of classes at SUNY Potsdam.

The college released the following statement Tuesday evening.

“Due to sudden severe weather, all evening classes are cancelled for July 17 at SUNY Potsdam. Power outage continues on the campus. The college is evaluating next steps.

“Faculty, staff, students and guests have been advised to delay travel and proceed with extreme caution, due to power lines down, blowing debris and unpredictable road conditions near campus.

“The safety of our campus community is SUNY Potsdam’s top concern. More information will follow as it becomes available. For campus emergencies, contact University Police at (315) 267-2222.”

While the National Weather Service has yet to receive any actual data from the storm,Mr. Muccilli said several parts of the county also reported nickel-size hail.

He had not received any reports of tornado activity in the area.

The storm has also reportedly knocked out power to more than 9,000 people in St. Lawrence County, including most of the village of Potsdam, and more than 6,000 people in Franklin County, where the storm also hit.


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