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Storm hammers Potsdam area; thousands without power in St. Lawrence and Franklin counties

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"POTSDAM - A severe thunderstorm moved through central and northern St. Lawrence County shortly after 3 p.m. Tuesday hammering the Potsdam area and leaving thousands of customers in the Potsdam area and from Hogansburg to Winthrop without power.

Potsdam firefighters responded to a report of a roof collapse on the Village Wines and Liquor store in the Prosh building. Potsdam officials said one person was inside the liquor store at the time of the collapse, but he was not injured.

Initial reports also indicated there was significant structural damage to several other buildings in the area. Emergency personnel evacauted three to four other buildings - approximately 20 people - near the liquor store in the wake of the storm.

There were reports of trees down, powerlines down and damaged buildings throughout the area, and National Grid reported 16,000 customers in St. Lawrence and Franklin counties were without power.

A state of emergency has been declared in Potsdam as cleanup efforts begin.

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