Wilmington hammered by high winds

Severe winds tore through Wilmington today, reportedly causing substantial damage to power lines, homes and businesses.

Wilmington town Supervisor Randy Preston told the Enterprise that nearly all town residents had lost power earlier in the day. As of about 5 p.m., 70 percent of the town had power, but the remaining 30 percent will likely be without power until the middle of Friday.

Preston blasted New York State Electric and Gas officials for their poor communication regarding the power outages.

“We’re not getting acurrate info out of NYSEG,” he said. “It’s impossible to get a live body here. I couldn’t be more disgusted with the whole thing. They referred me to their website, and I tried for three hours to get on and find out when power was coming back on. I left several messages for customer service. The supervisor I spoke to before said we only had two areas out, but the fire department is reporting more.

“They kept sticking with a canned answer of ‘noon tomorrow.’ You’d think, after the ice storm, that we wouldn’t be doing this again, and we are. It’s frustrating when you can’t get accurate information from the company, only from the volunteers.”

Officials at NYSEG’s Plattsburgh office couldn’t be reached immediately this evening.

Preston said he hasn’t heard reports of how high the winds reached, but he estimated they were upward of 60 miles per hour.

Those without power will likely have to wait until tomorrow, Preston added. He said firefighters are going door to door, offering to take people to the firehouse for the night.

Preston said power lines sustained “serious physical damage.

“We’re doing OK,” he said. “I think we’re going to get through it. Some people are going to have a tough time. The weather has just been horendous. Signs were blowing off of buildings. I haven’t seen anything like this in years.”

No injuries had been reported as of Thursday evening, although the physical damage has been significant, according to Preston. He said one resident’s car was crushed by a falling tree, and a storage facility was “flattened.”

At Preston’s house, a pine tree fell and crashed through the roof of his porch.

“It could have been worse,” he said.

National Grid also reported power outwages in parts of Essex and Clinton counties this afternoon.

Meanwhile, in the town of Jay, concerns about flooding had eased by late this morning. Town Supervisor Randy Douglas said in a prepared statement that the town didn’t sustain any damage as a result of temporary flooding caused by an ice jam.

“On behalf of the Town of Jay Town Board, Town of Jay DPW Director Chris Garrow and myself, I would like to thank the Emergency Service Personnel, the DPW Department and all County and State Officials for their help and quick response this morning as we prepared for the worst,” he said.

Contact Chris Morris at 518-891-2600 ext. 25 or cmorris@adirondackdailyenterprise.com.