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UPDATED: Strong Winds bringing trees down, knocking out power throughout Genesee County

By Howard B. Owens

This post has been superseded by a new weather update post. Click here to view that post.


Photo: Tree into a house at 22 Elmwood Ave., Batavia.  Photo by Steve Ognibene.

There are more than two dozen small power outages reported throughout Genesee County, most of them only affecting a handful of customers each.

There is an outage affecting 35 customers along Galloway Road in Batavia and Pembroke, one affecting 184 customers in East Bethany, just northeast of the hamlet, one affecting 53 customers along Bernd Road in Le Roy, 13 customers on Maple Road and Conley Road in Bergen, 15 customers along Oatka Trail in Le Roy, 28 customers on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation, and 13 along Dry Bridge Road in Alexander.

There have been multiple calls, starting at about 7 a.m., throughout the county for wires and trees down in the roadway, including but not limited to, Wilkenson Road, Route 20 in Alexander, Lockport Road in Oakfield, Weatherwax Road, Elba, Clipnock Road in Stafford, Keeney Road in Le Roy, and Route 19 near Vallance Road in Le Roy.

UPDATE 10:35 a.m.: Pole and wires down on Sanders Road. Stafford. Wyoming Road, Pavilion.

UPDATE 10:56 s.m.: Tree and wires down, Hartshorn Road, East Pembroke

UPDATE 11:01 a.m.: There's a tree down on Upton Road, blocking.  National Grid is already on scene on Hartshorn Road, and there is a power outage in Byron, Bergen, Stafford, and Le Roy, affecting 819 customers. There is an outage affecting 59 customers along Route 20 in Darien and Alexander, 23 Customers along Bridge Road, Elba.

UPDATE 11:24 a.m.: Wires down on Sackett Road, Bergen.

UPDATE 11:57 a.m. Whiteout conditions reported in parts of Genesee County. A Mercy ambulance was involved in an accident on Edgerton Road, Elba.

UPDATE 12:06 p.m.: Multiple poles down, tree down across the roadway, on Angling Road, East Pembroke.

UPDATE 12:11 p.m.: Complete whiteout conditions reported at Wortendyke and Route 5.

UPDATE 12:16 p.m.: Tree into a house on Donahue Road, Batavia. No injuries.  There is a two-car, minor injury accident at Lewiston and Fisher Road.

UPDATE 12:22 p.m.: A minor injury rollover accident is reported on the Thruway.

UPDATE 12:25 p.m.: A tree into a house is reported at 22 Elmwood Avenue. The house is believed to be unoccupied.

UPDATE 12:59 p.m.: Wire down across the road on Pearl Street Road near Donahue Road.

UPDATE 1:04 p.m.: Trees and power lines down on Townline Road, Darien.

UPDATE 1:22 p.m.: Tree across the road on Attica Road, Alexander.

UPDATE 1:52 p.m.: Tractor-trailer blocking the roadway on Route 33 at Boyce Road.

UPDATE 2:10 p.m.: Wires down in the roadway on Bethany Center Road.

UPDATE 2:18 p.m.: Rebel Liners in Alexander has a weather station set up with a feed on that is reporting a top wind gust of 46 mph so far.

UPDATE 2:21 p.m.: The Offhause Farms in Batavia weather station reports winds of 26 mph with gusts of 41 mph.

UPDATE 2:26 p.m.: "The Alabama Hotel has been turned into a warming shelter (as long as we have power). If you are stranded nearby, come in… I’ll start the coffee and make sure you don’t go hungry!"

UPDATE 2:35 p.m.: Trees and wires down, completely blocking, on Linden Road, Bethany.

UPDATE 3:15 p.m.: A Sheriff's patrol reportedly involved in an accident. We don't have a location.  There may be a Mercy ambulance involved as well, or a separate accident.  There's no report of injuries.

UPDATE 3:18 p.m.: The accident involving a Mercy ambulance and Sheriff's patrol is on Route 63 in Alabama.  No injuries reported.

UPDATE 3:21 p.m.: There are 1,719 National Grid customers without power in Genesee County.

UPDATE 3:25 p.m.: A firefighter reports at least 10 vehicles stopped on Judge Road.  He said he's trying to get them to the Fire Hall.  The dispatcher informs him Alabama Hotel is also available.

UPDATE 3:29 p.m.: Multiple vehicles off the road on Route 77 at Judge, and also, Akron Road.

UPDATE 3:59 p.m.: A Mercy EMS ambulance responding to a call is stuck in the snow (didn't catch location).

UPDATE 4:07 p.m.: Route 63 north is being shut down at Veterans Memorial Drive.

UPDATE 4:18 p.m.: Somebody called into dispatch that he came across a Dodge Dart stuck in a ditch off Lewiston Road and the dispatcher informed him, "we have about 50 vehicles stuck on Lewiston Road."

UPDATE 4:25 p.m. Darien Fire asked if Corfu PD could close Route 77 to southbound traffic. There are no Corfu PD officers working today and all deputies are tied up. Corfu Fire is closing Route 77.

UPDATE 5:03 p.m.: Darien's Fire Hall is being opened as a warming center.

UPDATE 5:05 p.m.: A first responder is asking dispatchers to prioritize people stuck in vehicles -- people without gas, without vehicles running, "there is no way we can get to everybody."  A dispatcher responds that she has been trying to that but is going through the list again to see if there is anybody who can be prioritized.

UPDATE 5:46 p.m.: Elba's UTV is being dispatched to a location on Lewiston Road between Church and Knowlesville for a woman in a vehicle with disrupted breathing. No other emergency vehicle has been able to get down the road to her location.

UPDATE 5:52 p.m.: For the Lewiston Road call, paramedics are staging at the Oakfield Fire Hall.

UPDATE 6:08 p.m.: A Mercy EMS ambulance is being dispatched for a woman in a vehicle with trouble breathing on Lewiston Road just north of the Thruway.

UPDATE 6:14 p.m.: A first responder on Lewiston Road is going to try and take the occupants of the vehicle to a warming station at Oakfield Fire Hall.  Mercy EMS can go back in service.

UPDATE 6:19 p.m.: A tractor-trailer on Oak Street in Batavia has jack-knifed and had traffic blocked and has been able to get moving again.  No property hit. Also, the first responder on Lewiston Road has helped the vehicle get unstuck and it is now following him to the Oakfield Fire Hall.

UPDATE 6:31 p.m. Pembroke Highway Department personnel are in the Pembroke garage now to facilitate refueling for any Genesee County patrol in need of gas.

UPDATE 6:43 p.m.: The Lewiston Road couple made it to the Oakfield Fire Hall.  A volunteer at the hall notes that there are about 15 people there and they're running out of blankets. They could use about 20 more blankets.

UPDATE 7:17 p.m.: We're hearing more calls of people being rescued from vehicles and being taken to either warming centers or local hotels, and that the hotels are filling up.

UPDATE 7:39 p.m.: A road in Alabama is unpassable for a medical call in the district. Two responding units said they can't make it. Also, Corfu is open as a warming shelter.

UPDATE 7:43 p.m.: A car is reported off the road on Colby Road in Darien with children. Also, a first-responder with multiple people in his vehicle is stuck on Malby Road, Oakfield. He said there are three our four feet of snow in the area.  A chief said that SnoPackers (the local snowmobile club) is coming in and will they will be on their way to help get them out.

UPDATE 8:28 p.m.: A fire chief came across a semi-truck off the road on Sumner Road.  "He said he was headed to Amazon. I don't know if he's fully loaded or not."  A heavy wrecker is in route.

UPDATE 9:08 p.m. A firefighter is transporting a middle-aged man to a Fire Hall (Oakfield?) who is in and out of consciousness after being rescued from a vehicle.

UPDATE 9:34 p.m.: Elba Central School is OPEN as a warming center/shelter for anyone who may need it. Please come to the North door (the archway) and you can gain access through the doors. The cafeteria is open with tables and chairs. We have some blankets and coats if needed. If you need a ride or any help, please call 585-813-2796.

UPDATE 9:37 p.m.: From Alabama Hotel:

We want to take a minute to send a huge Thank You to our friends across the street at the Alabama Holley Farms! They have gone back and forth a few times for us to help with food and supplies. Our dining room is set up to accommodate about 70 people. We are currently caring for approximately 100 people and many children. These are not our locals - They are from Canada, Maryland, Niagara Falls, Los Angeles, Ohio, etc. How amazing to have "strangers" come together to help. These are people who were stranded hours ago that are now doing dishes, clearing off tables, and doing everything they can to help one another. Truly a humbling experience.

Neighbors of the Hotel dropping off blankets and supplies... you guys are the REAL MVP's!

A huge shout out to Craig Alexander and Brian Kotarski for being here to help tonight! Could not have done this without you!

Lastly, Bonnie Woodward - Owner of The Alabama Hotel. Thank YOU for suggesting that we open our doors tonight and take care of everyone. I wish you were able to meet all of these amazing people - They are sending their love and much appreciation your way!

UPDATE 9:38 p.m.: There are still multiple motorists stranded in the Alabama and Oakfield area.  Volunteer firefighters and highway workers are working to reach them where possible.  Some roads are covered in three or four feet of snow.

UPDATE 9:40 p.m.: There's a group of motorists stranded on Route 5 near Cleveland Road.

UPDATE 9:47 p.m.: A first responder is dropping off a family he rescued at a warming shelter at Grace Baptist Church.

UPDATE 10:13 p.m.: The band of heavy snow that has been hovering over Oakfield and Alabama is expected to remain in place until at least midnight, according to the National Weather Service.

UPDATE 10:16 p.m.: County Highway Superintendent Tim Hens is reportedly out with a plow crew in the Alabama/Pembroke area.

UPDATE 10:24 p.m.: Alabama Station #2 has been shut down. "It's not safe out there."

UPDATE 10:47 p.m.: Click here for story about County Highway personnel heading out to try and rescue people trapped in cars on Route 77.  Also, didn't catch the location, but there is a group of cars that are stuck on a roadway and one person "wandered off," and nobody knows where he is.

UPDATE 10:51 p.m.: East Pembroke's chief is out with an SUV with six people. They have plenty of gas and are all set to wait until morning if necessary but they believe a friend was trying to rescue them on foot.  His last known location was Simons Road and Bennett Road.  But there is also chatter with dispatchers to indicate he may have been located.

UPDATE 10:54 p.m.: An Elba volunteer has located two hypothermic people on Judge Road. The patients are being loaded in Oakfield's rescue.

UPDATE 11:05 p.m.: Two patients who are hypothermic but awake are being transported to UMMC by Mercy EMS.  ETA in 20 or 30 minutes.

UPDATE 11:29 p.m.: A volunteer has picked up a group of travelers in a Range Rover with New Jersey license plates in Oakfield.

UPDATE 11:37 p.m.: See A community of emergency response assists those in need during storm

UPDATE 11:38 p.m.: See Motorists rescued, fed, kept warm during travel on Friday

UPDATE 11:53 p.m.: A volunteer has picked up five people along Drake, watching for more stranded motorists as he heads to the village. A chief recommends dropping them off at The Goose, which is a warming center.  A dispatcher informs the Oakfield chief that they have received multiple calls of stranded motorists reporting hypothermia, but there is no way to get rescue crews to them at this time.

UPDATE Dec. 24, 12:32 a.m.: We've started a new update post.


Photo by Steve Ognibene


Photo by Steve Ognibene

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