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Hurricane winds & rains roll into WNY region

Some damage from the effects of Hurricane Sandy were reported Monday evening. The city of Buffalo’s Department of Public Works reported six downed trees causing only minor damage in the city.  A telephone pole also toppled in Buffalo.  

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Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
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Windy conditions blew rain across Delaware Avenue in downtown Buffalo Monday evening

But no power outages in Buffalo were reported before midnight Monday.   

Officials remind citizens to use caution.  The city urges residents to call 911 if you have a weather emergency.

Other trees reported down in Amherst, Wellsville, Ripley and Randolph.  Some power lines are also down in East Aurora.

There are very, small scattered power outages reported by National Grid in the Buffalo area.

There are also outages reported in Niagara, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua & Allegany Counties.

You can view a National Grid map to pinpoint the exact numbers and also report an outage in your area.

If you have a power outage and use a portable generator, the Erie County Health Department urges safety awareness and issue the following information:  

ERIE COUNTY, NY— The Erie County Department of Health (“ECDOH”) strongly encourages Erie County Residents to be aware of generator safety. “While generators are a great tool during power outages, there are specific dangers associated with their use”  said Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein.  Understanding how to safely use a generator can save lives. Generators must always be used outsider, never in a home.”

There are several options with regard to generator use. Residents may want to consider acquiring a generator that can provide enough power to run a furnace and, if necessary, a well pump during an extended power outage. Another reason to consider a generator is for back-up power to run essential medical equipment or just to keep a refrigerator and freezer running when the power goes out. Whatever the situation, it is important to size the unit correctly and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for its safe operation.

As a portable unit, the generator can power electrical equipment and household appliances using heavy-duty, outdoor extension cords plugged directly into the generator. The extension cords should be checked frequently to make sure they do not become hot during operation.

Only a licensed electrician should install a generator to a household wiring system, either as a portable or permanent unit. An electrician should install a separate outdoor receptacle and double-pole, double-throw transfer switch to isolate the generator from the utility company's lines. This will prevent electrical backfeed from the generator which could harm utility workers repairing these lines. The power company should also be notified when a generator is installed.

Helpful Hints: Generator Safety

  *   Consult with a licensed electrician to connect a generator to existing household wiring system and install all recommended safety devices.
  *   Notify the power company when a generator is installed.
  *   Never run a generator inside the home, basement or attached garage. Generators should only be operated outside. Carbon monoxide in the generator's fumes can build up and cause carbon monoxide poisoning, which can lead to death.
  *   Keep children away from generators at all times.
  *   Operate the generator in a dry outdoor location, away from open windows.
  *   Fuel spilled on a hot generator can cause an explosion. If a generator has a detachable fuel tank, it should be removed before refilling. If this is not possible, the generator should be shut off and allowed to cool before refilling.
  *   Gasoline should be store away from the generator in proper storage containers and not in the home. Improper storage can cause explosions and/or fires.
  *   A generator’s rated capacity should never be exceeded. Overloading a generator can damage it and any appliances connected to it. Fire may result. The manufacturer's instructions should always be followed.
Safe use of a generator has great value during power outages.  ECDOH encourages everyone to know and understand the safety rules for operation of a generator. :

Governor Andrew Cuomo has also announced a reduced speed limit along the Thruway in Western New York due to the storm.  

Due to high winds, the speed limit along the I-90 and all of the Niagara section of the Thruway, the I-190, has been reduced to 45-miles per hour. 

The reduced speed limit applies to all of I-190 and the portion of I-90 between Exit 57, (Hamburg-NY Route 75) and the Pennsylvania state line.

Motorists with high profile vehicles, large commercial vehicles, buses and empty tractor-trailers are advised to adjust their driving schedules and reduce speed consistent with weather conditions.

Electronic message boards and Highway Advisory Radio (98.7 FM, 610 AM) will be activated to notify motorists.