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Remnants of Hurricane Sandy bring rainy weather and closures to area

October 30, 2012
By SAMANTHA MCDONNELL OBSERVER Staff Writer , The OBSERVER

Remnants of Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc in Chautauqua County Mon-day, prompting the cancellation of some events.

A high wind warning for Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Erie counties has been issued for the area through 2 p.m. today. The area is also under a lake shore flood warning and flood watch which will expire at 10 a.m. today. According to the National Weather Service in Buffalo, maximum winds reached 47 mph Monday.

Dunkirk Police Depart-ment, Dunkirk Fire Depart-ment and the Dunkirk Public Works Department issued a press release through police reminding residents to monitor weather updates through national outlets for updates on Hurricane Sandy.

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Lake Erie near Cedar Beach in Dunkirk was rough on Monday as a portion of Hurricane Sandy moved through the area.

The city pier and Lake Front Boulevard were closed Monday night and residents are urged to stay away from these areas as the storm progresses.

If the storm increases, more road closures in the city are possible. Police also urged residents to not travel unless it's necessary.

"Many activities have already been canceled during the time frame of the storm; please pay attention to bulletins and warnings. The cooperation of everyone will help to keep us all safe during this weather event," Police Chief David Ortolano said.

As of Monday evening, Dunkirk Police did not have any calls for weather-related damage, according to Desk Sergeant Dan Manzella. The city's DPW was on stand by for any incidents.

"(Department of) Public Works is ready to go whenever we call them," he said.

If there are any downed power lines, call 911. Downed power lines should be treated as an energized line. For information on power outages, customers can contact National Grid by calling 1-800-867-5222. Customers can also visit www.nationalgridus.com for updates on power outages as well as to report a power outage.

County officials have also worked together to be prepared for Sandy to hit Western New York. The Department of Emergency Services, under the direction of Julius Leone, is ready for any disasters to reach Chautauqua County.

"We will continue to work with local and federal agencies to see that Western New York is protected and has the resources necessary to prepare for and recover from emergency situations," Congressman Brian Higgins said. "Most important, we urge residents to stay safe and follow directions coming from local leaders and emergency personnel managing the situation on the ground."

AAA of Western and Central New York is urging motorists to slow down and keep distance in between vehicles during inclement weather. Motorists should not drive through high or standing water, use cruise control and should be aware of downed trees and power lines. The wind even affected the New York State Thruway. Gov. Andrew Cuomo reduced the speed limit I-90 from Exit 57 to the state line to 45 mph due to the high winds.

The weather canceled activities Monday throughout the area. SUNY Fredonia canceled evening events and classes were not canceled yet for Tuesday. Students are asked to check early Tuesday morning to see if classes will be canceled. Chautauqua Lake Central School and Lakeshore Central School also canceled after school activities for Monday.

For more information on Hurricane Sandy, visit www.fema.gov or www.weather.gov. The Red Cross also offers two cell phone apps for help with hurricanes and general first aid. They can be found on the Google Play Store or iTunes by searching "American Red Cross."

Comments on this article may be sent to smcdonnell@observertoday.com.

 
 

 

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