Local Matters

Recent comments

Community Sponsors


July 16, 2018 - 10:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news, notify.

A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for all of Genesee County by the National Weather Service and it is in effect until 10:45 p.m.

The storm is moving east at 35 mph hour with wind gusts up to 60 mph. Damage to roofs, siding and trees possible. 

The National Weather Service recommends moving to an interior room at the lowest floor of your building.

Large hail and damaging wind and continuous cloud-to-ground lightning spotted in this storm, along with torrential rainfall, and flash flooding is possible.

July 12, 2018 - 3:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, batavia, news, notify.


We're only in July and Batavia has already exceeded its "normal for a year" number of days of highs reaching 90 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.

Normal is six days of 90 degrees or higher. Batavia has reached that mark seven times so far.

Batavia could see temperatures as high as 90 degrees again on Sunday and Monday.

Image via the NWS Buffalo Twitter account.

July 3, 2018 - 2:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, National Grid, news.

Press release:

Due to high energy demand caused by this week’s extreme heat and humidity, National Grid is asking Upstate New York customers to reduce unnecessary electricity usage for the remainder of the week. Electricity supply to the area is adequate, but continued heavy demand and high temperatures could pose a threat to network reliability.

The company recommends a few simple customer actions to help reduce demand on utility equipment and maintain system reliability. These small actions, combined with those of your neighbors, can make a big difference -- and they can help you better manage your energy bill.

  Draw blinds, shades, drapes to prevent the sun from making your home too hot.

  Slightly increase air conditioner settings, change the filter, use fans – The lower your air conditioner temperature, the more costly it is to operate. For example, a 75-degree setting will cost about 18 percent more than a 78-degree setting. Set the thermostat as high as comfort will permit. In addition, check your window air conditioner filter and replace or clean it if necessary. If your home has central air conditioning, check the condition of the furnace filter and replace it if dirty. Using fans instead of air conditioning also reduces energy usage.

  Consider a programmable thermostat – You could save up to $180 annually by adjusting cooling temperatures when rooms are unoccupied.

  Turn off lights when they are not needed.

  Delay the use of hot water appliances like dishwashers and washing machines.

  Unplug electronics – Even though your electronics, like televisions and computers, are turned off they may still draw electricity. Unplug any unnecessary electronics and chargers. In addition, using an advanced power strip on your entertainment system reduces phantom load energy use and can save you up to $60 annually.

  Turn off your pool pump – Pool pumps are one of the largest consumers of household energy—second only to the air conditioning unit.

Reminder to Remain Diligent Regarding Heat Stress

National Grid also reminds customers that prolonged temperatures of 90°F or higher can lead to heat-related illnesses, especially for the elderly, young children and those with chronic illnesses. More information on heat stress can be found here.

June 13, 2018 - 4:47pm
posted by Billie Owens in weather, genesee county, news.

A severe thunderstorm watch is in effect until 11 p.m. in Genesee County, and other portions of Western New York, according to the National Weather Service.

June 13, 2018 - 4:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news, batavia.


Reader John Michaels submitted this photo of a tree down at the Terrace Apartments.

May 31, 2018 - 5:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Willow Group, news, weather, batavia.


Jess DiSalvo shared this picture taken at 5:40 a.m. of a rainbow over the Willow Group building on Clinton Street, Batavia.

May 31, 2018 - 12:39pm
posted by Billie Owens in weather, news, genesee county.

A hazardous weather outlook is in effect for Western and North Central New York, which includes Genesee County, today and tonight.

Scattered thunderstorms will develop this afternoon and evening. Some of the storms will produce wind gusts.

Storms may also produce locally heavy rain with a small risk for flooding.

Also, scattered thunderstorms will develop Friday afternoon and evening, with some of the storms possibly producing locally heavy rain with a small risk for flooding.

May 10, 2018 - 9:20am
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, batavia, news.


Dayne Burroughs sent in this photo of some pretty ominous looking clouds gathering over Batavia just before a bit of heavy rain hit this morning.

May 4, 2018 - 4:19pm
posted by Billie Owens in weather, news, batavia.

A severe thunderstorm warning was issued at 4:10 p.m. by The National Weather Service office in Buffalo.

It is in effect until 4:45 p.m.

At 4:09 p.m. a severe thunderstorm was located over Batavia moving northeast at 75 mph. Wind gusts of up to 70 mph are a hazard. Up to three-quarters of an inch of hail are possible.

The weather service says: Expect considerable tree damage. Damage is likely to mobile homes, roofs, and outbuildings.

This area of impact includes the following highways: Interstate 390 between exits 11 and 12; and Interstate 90 between exits 48 and 46.

For your protection move to an interior room on the lowest floor of a building.

Also, a high wind warning is in effect until 10 p.m.

May 2, 2018 - 10:45am
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news.

The air quality index for today is expected to exceed 100 for ozone so the DEC has issued a health advisory from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Press release:

The air quality index...or AQI...was created as an easy way to correlate levels of different pollutants to one scale. The higher the AQI value, the greater the health concern.

When pollution levels are elevated the New York State Department of Health recommends that individuals consider limiting strenuous outdoor physical activity to reduce the risk of adverse health effects.

People who may be especially sensitive to the effects of elevated levels of pollutants include the very young and those with pre-existing respiratory problems such as asthma or heart disease.

Those with symptoms should consider consulting their personal physician.

April 15, 2018 - 5:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, batavia, colonial boulevard.


Alyssa Wolford, of Colonial Boulevard in Batavia, submitted this photo of the perfect sheet of ice molded by her mailbox cover.


April 14, 2018 - 6:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news, notify.

Sheriff William Sheron has issued a travel advisory for all of Genesee County because of current and forecasted weather conditions consisting of high winds and icy roads with possibly downed power lines and trees over the next 24 hours.

April 14, 2018 - 3:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news, notify.

With as much as half an inch of ice accumulation in the storm the National Weather Service says is heading our way, County Highway Superintendent Tim Hens is recommending local residents treat this as a significant weather event and "stay put" for the night.

"Most of the area will be getting about half an inch of ice, which will be heavy enough to bring down trees and power lines," Hens said. "Combined with a strong northeast wind, which is opposite of our normal prevailing wind, there is likely to be major tree damage and sustained power outages.

"There is likely only a few hours left to gather last-minute supplies," he added. "After that, I would recommend staying put."

Unnecessary travel, he said, will only make matters worse for highway departments, emergency vehicles an utility crews.

He advises that those running generators use safe fueling and operating methods.

"Do not run a generator indoors under any circumstances," he said.

National Grid also sent out this advisory:

Storm Alert from the National Weather Service in Buffalo

In preparation for strong winds, freezing rain and ice accumulation across much of Upstate New York over the next 24 hours, National Grid has more than 2,000 line, service and tree workers on alert, including additional support from the company’s New England workforce and from neighboring New York utilities.

Crews are being deployed across upstate as needed, particularly in areas where the weather is expected to be the most severe. We urge customers to be prepared and remain safe.

Safety Tips:

  • Remember to never touch downed power lines; always assume they are carrying live electricity. Downed lines should be immediately reported to National Grid at 1-800-867-5222 or by calling 9-1-1.
  • Keep a number of working flashlights, at least one battery-operated radio and an extra supply of batteries in your home. Also, make sure to keep your mobile devices charged prior to an event.
  • Be sure to check on elderly family members, neighbors and others who may need assistance during an outage.
  • Customers who depend on electrically powered life support equipment, such as a respirator, should register as a life support customer by calling National Grid at -800-322-3223. (In a medical emergency, always dial 9-1-1.)

Stay Connected

  • Use your mobile device to track outage information, report outages and storm-related safety tips through National Grid's mobile site accessible at www.ngrid.com/mobile(m.nationalgrid.com).
  • To receive text message alerts and updates from National Grid, text the word STORM to NGRID (64743).
April 14, 2018 - 8:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news.

An ice storm is forecast for today starting at 2 p.m. with significant icing and gusty winds expected.

The ice storm warning is in effect until 2 p.m., Sunday.

Power outages and tree damage are likely, according to the National Weather Service, due to the wind and ice.

Travel will be difficult at times. Drivers should expect ice-covered surfaces and be on the lookout for downed tree limbs and power lines.

April 5, 2018 - 2:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in National Grid, weather, news.

A spokesman for National Grid says there are still about 800 customers in Genesee County without power.

The areas with the most customers without power are Darien, 165, Batavia, 104, and Oakfield, 90.  

The ETA for restoration is 10 o'clock tonight for all of Genesee County.

April 5, 2018 - 11:09am

From National Grid:

Work crews (local and outside) are busy throughout Genesee County with restoration efforts ongoing following the yesterday's high winds that brought down a lot of trees and power lines. The current number of customers out of power is 1,150.

The areas with the largest number of customer outages are Darien, Bergen and Byron.

Currently, crews are active in the following areas:

  • Darien
  • Byron
  • Bergen
  • Alexander
  • Oakfield
  • Stafford
  • Le Roy
  • Pavilion
April 4, 2018 - 10:35am

NOTE: Readers, if you have weather-related photos, photos related to anything in this post, email them to [email protected]

A tree is down, partially blocking the roadway at 10840 Bowen Road in Alexander. Alexander firefighters are responding with a chainsaw to cut the tree and remove it.

In the area of the Log Cabin Restaurant, a transformer and three or four power lines are down in the roadway. The location is 1227 Gilmore Road. Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments are responding. National Grid is notified; no ETA -- "They're obviously are dealing with multiple issues."

Wires and/or tree branches are reported down on Whitney Mill Road in Elba.

UPDATE 10:41 a.m.: A tree and wires are down and entangled at 3583 Batavia Oakfield Townline Road.

UPDATE 10:43 a.m.: Tree down across the roadway at 9555 Beaver Road, Alexander.

UPDATE 10:44 a.m.: Tree and/or wires down on Francis Road, between Brown Road and Route 20, Bethany.

UPDATE 10:46 a.m.: Tree and wires down at 2781 Shelby Road. Oakfield Fire Department responding.

UPDATE 10:50 a.m.: DPW requested by City Fire to Cherry and Pringle for a large limb down blocking the roadway.

UPDATE 10:54 a.m.: National Grid is reporting 10 areas in Genesee County with power outages. The largest, 41 customers, is in Pavilion, in the area of Texaco Town. In Elba, Townline Road is being shut down at Pekin Road for a tree down.

UPDATE 10:59 a.m.: A tree has fallen into a residence at 3189 W. Main Street Road, Batavia. East Pembroke Fire dispatched.

UPDATE 11 a.m.: A semi-truck rollover accident is reported on Route 77 in front of Darien Lake Theme Park. Unknown injuries. Unknown cargo. Darien Fire dispatched.

UPDATE 11:04 a.m.: A large pine tree is reportedly down across the road in the area of 3525 Rose Road, Batavia. On Darien truck accident, truck is empty, no injuries, no fuel spill. Darien Fire can respond non-emergency.

UPDATE 11:08 a.m.: There is a power outage in East Pembroke with 40 customers without service. In Pembroke, a poll with a transformer is leaning with low hanging wires in front of Yancys Fancys.

UPDATE 11:23 a.m.: A box truck rollover accident is reported on Route 77 at McGregor Road, Darien. Injuries are reported. There are reportedly two occupants in the truck. Darien Fire dispatched. A chief is requesting that Route 77 be shut down to truck traffic.

UPDATE 11:27 a.m.: Route 5 is being shut down for westbound traffic at Route 77.

UPDATE 11:30 a.m.: Wires in trees with flames is reported on Dodgeson Road and Seward Road, Alexander. Alexander Fire responding.

UPDATE 11:35 a.m.: A tree and wires down, no fire, in the area of 2257 Countyline Road, Darien.

UPDATE 11:46 a.m. There is reportedly a car on tree branches and wires with a fuel leak in the area of 2023 Indian Falls Road, Pembroke. There are occupants in the vehicle. East Pembroke fire responding. No sparks are flames. Wires down at 118 E. Main St., Le Roy. A tree is down and blocking at Circular Hill Road and Wilcox Road, Byron.

UPDATE 12:10 p.m.: A tree is down on a house on Union Street. No structural damage. No wires down but it looks like the rest of the tree might come down soon.

UPDATE 12:13 p.m. A tree has come down on a gray Toyota Avalon at the McDonald's in Le Roy. It's unoccupied. Unknown owner at this time.

UPDATE 12:15 p.m.: In Alabama, 90 National Grid customers are without power.

UPDATE 12:20 p.m.: If we've got the right call here, occupants extricated at incident on Indian Falls Road.

UPDATE 12:24 p.m.: A dispatcher informs a Sheriff's patrol supervisor that there is a long list of pending hazardous conditions calls.

UPDATE 12:28 p.m.: A tractor-trailer rollover is reported in Pavilion on Route 63 at Court Road. Pavilion fire dispatched. Unknown injuries. Unknown cargo.

UPDATE 12:35 p.m.: Route 63 is being shut down. The driver can't be located. A pole with transformer is broken. The location is in Wyoming County. A Wyoming County deputy is in route. There is a fuel leak.

UPDATE 12:37 p.m.: The driver is in a pickup truck parked roadside.

UPDATE 12:38 p.m.: Oakfield fire is dispatched to 7001 Lewiston Road, the Oakfield-Alabama Central School District, bus garage, for a fire alarm in the gas island.

UPDATE 12:41 p.m.: On Pavilion truck accident, Mercy ambulance can continue non-emergency. Probably a sign-off. The trailer is empty. Small fuel spill to clean up.

UPDATE 12:46 p.m.: Westbound Route 5 in Le Roy is being shut down by Le Roy fire at York Road. We didn't catch the reason.

UPDATE 12:50 p.m.: Limb down on Pringle Avenue, Batavia. No electrical lines involved.

UPDATE 1:01 p.m.: A two-car accident is reported at Buffalo Street and Attica Road, Alexander. Alexander fire dispatched. Unknown injuries. A large tree is down on South Main Street. South Main is being closed at River and at Dewey.

UPDATE 1:13 p.m.: Wires arcing, 8503 Lover's Lane Road. East Pembroke fire dispatched.

UPDATE 1:15 p.m.: Tree down blocking on Gilbert Street, Batavia. Also, State Street is being blocked.

UPDATE 1:22 p.m.: Photo submitted by Cherie Chatt of a tree down on a house in Oakfield.


There is also a tree down on wires at 2781 E. Shelby Road. Oakfield Fire Police on scene.

UPDATE 1:25 p.m.: Tractor-trailer rollover accident reported at 6744 Quaker Hill Road, Elba. Unknown injuries. Unknown cargo. Elba fire dispatched.

UPDATE 1:28 p.m.: Reader-submitted photo of tree down on South Main Steet, Batavia.


UPDATE 1:31 p.m.: Power outage in Elba, 316 customers without power. 

UPDATE 1:37 p.m.: Tree down on Fisher Road, Oakfield.

UPDATE 1:44 p.m.: Law enforcement dispatched to Lewiston Road in the area of the Thruway overpass for a report of a person in black pants and a black jacket with red hat looking in mailboxes.

UPDATE 2:23 p.m.: Traffic lights are out in the city at Main and Oak streets.

UPDATE 2:54 p.m.: Photo of Lewiston and Main, Batavia, about 30 minutes ago. There were strong winds and heavy snow for a short period. Every traffic light on West Main is out of service.


UPDATE 3:52 p.m.: It was a very busy day for emergency dispatchers. Sheriff William Sheron shared the photos below from one of the busy times. The call rate has slowed considerably over the past hour or so.




UPDATE 6:21 p.m.: Photo submitted by a reader, 40 Church St., Le Roy.


UPDATE 6:39 p.m.: Mari Egloff submitted these photos of trees down in her yard in Alexander.



UPDATE: Dayne Burroughs and Pamela Reinhardt shared the pictures below of damage at St. Joe's Cemetery.




April 3, 2018 - 11:35am
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news.

There is a high-wind warning in place for tomorrow from 3 a.m. to 8 p.m. Winds of 30 to 40 mph with gusts up to 65 mph are anticipated. The National Weather Service warns of hazardous driving conditions, downed trees and power lines.

National Grid also issued this statement:

Weather forecasts are calling for strong winds and potentially heavy rains across large portions of Upstate New York, and National Grid is preparing its storm response plans and urging customers to be safe and ready.

The company offers the following tips to help customers be prepared and stay safe:

  • If a power outage occurs, customers should call National Grid’s at 1-800-867-5222 to expedite restoration;
  • Generators used to supply power during an outage must be operated outdoors. Before operating a generator, be sure to disconnect from National Grid’s system by shutting off the main breaker, located in the electric service panel. Failure to do this could endanger our crews and your neighbors;
  • Never touch downed power lines; always assume they are carrying live electricity. Downed lines should be immediately reported to National Grid at 1-800-867-5222 or to your local emergency response organization;
  • Customers who depend on electrically powered life support equipment, such as a respirator, should register as a life support customer by calling National Grid at 1-800-642- 4272; (In a medical emergency, always dial 9-1-1.)
  • Keep a number of working flashlights, at least one battery-operated radio and an extra supply of batteries in your home;
  • Please drive carefully and use caution when driving near any repair crews working to restore power;
  • Be sure to check on elderly family members, neighbors and others who may need assistance during an outage.

National Grid also advises staying tuned to local media for important announcements from emergency officials about possible evacuations or other emergency procedures. In most areas, information on storm shelter locations is available by calling 211.

March 15, 2018 - 7:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, weather, City Hall.


As I walked out of Batavia City Hall tonight, the snow had just started falling.

The forecast is for periods of snow tonight and tomorrow. The total accumulation tonight is expected to be less than an inch.

March 2, 2018 - 7:10am
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news.


This is what it looked like in Oakfield at about 1 a.m. The photo was submitted by Jackie Ferringer.

Email your storm photos to [email protected]


Subscribe to



Copyright © 2008-2018 The Batavian. Some Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license.
Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

blue button