OSWEGO, NY – “Want some Firewood?” joked several Port City residents Tuesday afternoon as they sawed and dragged the remnants of trees out of their yards and drive ways.A severe thunderstorm, accompanied by drenching rains and fierce winds ravaged most of Oswego County shortly before noon.
According to National Grid (outage tracker here), all but a few communities in the county were hit hard by the driving rain and strong winds.
Nearly 3,000 homes and businesses in the city of Oswego lost power, as did 2,100 customers each in the towns of Sandy Creek and Scriba. Nearly every village, town and city in the county reported some level of power outage due to the storm.
National Grid officials say their crews are in the field and working to restore power. The utility
projects most or all customers will have power back by 5 p.m now says it cannot predict, as of 5:30 pm, when power will return to affected areas.
The Oswego County Health Department has canceled the rabies clinic that was scheduled for Wednesday, June 11, in the County Highway Garage on County Route 2A near Pulaski. The clinic will take place next Wednesday, June 18, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the highway garage.
“It was like a tornado hit,” exclaimed one city resident.
Bill Gregway, local observer for the National Weather Service, disputes reports of a tornado.
“What we experienced was a ‘straight line wind.’ It may have seemed to swirl, but it wasn’t a tornado,” he explained. “The winds whipped up to 50 to 60, maybe 70, mph. They just dropped down and breezed through the area causing a lot of damage.”
The storm actually started around 1:30 a.m., Gregway noted.
“It was over with pretty quickly. We received 0.21-inch of rain by slightly after 2 a.m.,” Gregway said. “Then it looked like a real nice morning until a little after 10.”
A sharp cold front plowed into the area shortly after 10:30 a.m.
It was mostly over by 11:35 a.m.
Scattered showers and high winds returned briefly at 4:40 p.m.
The big thing was the straight line winds,” Gregway said. “They blew in from the southwest and really caused a lot of damage. There was stuff all over.
“They’ve really helped a lot,” she said. “They have picked up most of the downed tree limbs and cut them up. Now we’re just trying to get rid of them.
Three-year-old Grace O’Gorman was helping out by carrying the smaller branches to the pile of debris out front.
“The wind did all of this,” she said.
The storm also forced Oswego schools to cancel after-school activities.
The sports awards will go on as planned, however.
Six of the seven small storage sheds on display outside the Oswego Lowe’s were destroyed by the winds.
Elm Street, at East Albany, was closed for a while as a maple tree succumbed to the gale force winds and toppled into the intersection.
“When it rains, it really pours,” joked Bonnie Jo Carpenter as she and her son, Thomas, removed the storm’s debris from in front of their home.
A large tree in front of the house cracked in two, damaging an upper corner of the house taking out two phone lines in the process. The flower garden was also a victim of the splintering timber.
Here is a list of those we’ve heard about so far.
Route 3, both directions, at Oswego-Jefferson County lines blocked lanes, single-line traffic due to downed trees at 2:30 p.m. up to four hours.
Route 3 EB and WB at Route 104B, Town of Mexico, was closed due to tree down at noon. It reopened shortly after 2 p.m.
Johnson Road is closed from Laker Hall on the SUNY Oswego campus right thorough Oswego Town as crews work to restore downed utility lines. It’s unknown when it might reopen.
Interstate 81 NB and SB at Exit 37, Sandy Creek, was closed due to wires down at noon.
It is estimated it won’t reopen until approximately 8 p.m. It opened around 8:30 p.m.
For more travel information, visit New York State Department of Transportation – TravelInfoNY https://www.nysdot.gov/portal/page/portal/transportation-partners/nys-transportation-federation/travel-info-ny website.