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High winds blast Western New York

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Strong winds have rocked the region over the last 24 hours creating widespread power outages.

The strongest winds occurred Sunday afternoon as a gust of 69 miles per hour was recorded at 3:17 p.m. at the Buffalo office of the National Weather Service. The effects of those winds, however, are still being felt. Over 50,000 customers are without power Monday morning, forcing dozens of schools to close.Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, speaking from the Erie County Emergency Operations Center in Cheektowaga early Monday morning, said the high winds are making utility repairs dangerous. Officials will be meeting with utility companies at 10 a.m. to assess the situation.

Those living along the shores of Lake Erie and the Niagara River are also keeping a wary eye on ice jams as water levels have risen well above normal. A High Wind Warning continues until 10 a.m. A Lakeshore Flood Warning is in place until a p.m.