POTSDAM - Numerous trees and power lines throughout St. Lawrence County were reported down Tuesday night as residents experienced a thunderous light show with heavy rain pouring down.
National Weather Service meteorologist Brooke Taber said that the previously issued severe thunderstorm warning was cancelled for the county shortly before 9 p.m.
A severe thunderstorm watch however, remained in effect until midnight.
“The threat for severe weather has exited the eastern part of the county,” Mr. Taber said Tuesday night. “There have been numerous reports from throughout the county of trees and power lines down. They’re coming from Potsdam, Cranberry Lake, Gouverneur, etc...”
Storms packing heavy winds in the 45 mph range moved through the county, and Central Dispatch in Canton sent crews to approximately two dozen reports of trees and wires down between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. in the Potsdam - North Lawrence corridor.
There were isolated reports of property damage around the county. Jane Nichols said she had received a report from her sister, Gina Marlowe, that an apparent microburst on the West Mahoney Road in the town of Brasher. She said her sister indicated a barn roof had blown off in the area, and she had lost a hen and some chicks as a result of the storm. “She has seven chicks in her son’s bathtub right now,” Ms. Nichols said.
Potsdam firefighters were busy Tuesday evening, but reported a slight let up in action by 10 p.m.
“We’ve had (trees and power lines down) in pretty much the whole village and pretty much our whole district. The crews go and clear them out if they can. If not, National Grid is notified,” Third Assistant Chief Danielle Rose said. “There’s a few without (power) but not too many. It’s mainly out in the country.”
Canal Street was among the venues in the village of Potsdam that saw numerous trees knocked over, but they had were cleared off toward the sidewalk by 9:30 p.m.
Ms. Rose said the department would be busy the remainder of the night, but was optimistic that the later it got, the more cooperative Mother Nature would be.
“It’s calmed down. I don’t think it’ll be too bad now. We’ll probably just be here and there - maybe a couple of basement pumps, who knows,” she said. “It looks like the (worst damage) has been up Colton and Pierrepont way.”
The Potsdam, West Potsdam, Norwood and Hannawa Falls fire departments answered calls of trees down between 8 and 9 p.m. Tuesday on the Parmeter Road near the Sweeney Road, Church Road in Hannawa Falls, Canal and Cherry streets in Potsdam, County Route 34 in West Potsdam, Morley-Potsdam Road, Pleasant Street and the River Road in Norwood.
National Grid was responding to the River Road scene for a report of a transformer fire.
The Brasher-Winthrop Fire Department responded to reports of trees down on the West Mahoney Road and near 896 state Route 420 in the town of Brasher and on Route 11 near East Part Road, McCarthy Road and Brookdale Road in the town of Stockholm during that same time period.
Firefighters from Parishville (Allens Falls Road and County Route 58), West Stockholm (Route 11 near the Wells Road), Hellena (County Route 53) and North Lawrence (Route 11C and West Cotter Road) were also dispatched to reports of trees and power lines down.
National Grid reported several just over 74,000 of its customers in upstate New York were without power Tuesday night, including approximately 1,000 in St. Lawrence County. The largest outages at 10:45 p.m. were the Russell - Pyrites area, 833; West Stockholm and Stockholm Center, 400; Potsdam, 134; outskirts of Canton, 85;and North Lawrence, 49; with multiple other outages around the county impacting a handful of customers at each location. The outages in the Canton area were reported startting around 7:45 p.m. with the reports in the Tri-Town area hitting approximately an hour later. National Grid said late Tuesday night they were still assessing conditions in several locations and had no estimated time for power restoration.