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Efforts in WNY to restore power continue after wind storm, Shea's roof needs repairs

Nick Lippa

Wind gusts from last night’s storm impacted over 51,000 National Grid customers across Western New York. Late this morning, over 1,000 remained without power throughout Buffalo. At 5 p.m. National Grid reported 90 percent of their nearly 53,000 customers impacted by the storm have had power restored.

Credit Nick Lippa / WBFO
Buffalo Public Works Commissioner Michael Finn

National Grid says power is expected to be restored to the majority of their customers by 11:30 p.m. Monday night.

Buffalo Public Works Commissioner Michael Finn said Lake Erie reached 11.12 on the gauge the National Weather Service keeps at the lighthouse in Buffalo Harbor.

“That caused the banks to go over the top in the old First Ward area, as well as other parts of our waterfront,” said Finn. “And we spoke about last night, that does cause some flooding impacts within the First Ward area that we were out buffalo fire did a lot of mitigation on that.”

Buffalo Public Works Commissioner Michael Finn said so far the city has had 56 calls involving forestry related damage.

“34 whole trees (went) down and 14 were completed,” he said. “We have four crews working on advancing that today. To put that in context, from the October storm in 2019, we had over 200 at the end of the storm.”

Finn said Public Works expects to receive more calls as people start to see issues that they maybe didn't see at night. He adds the leaves being down off most trees helped mitigate the damage.

National grid has been distributing dry ice and bottled water at the JFK Community Center parking lot for those still without power.

Finn said they are still working on restoring some traffic signs and lights.

In addition to widespread power outages and downed trees, Sunday’s wind storm also caused damage to the roof of Shea’s Performing Arts Center downtown.

Buffalo city officials said they have contacted an emergency contractor to make repairs to a small part of the roof that came off during the storm.

Finn gave an update on its condition late this morning.

“I just came from Shea's,” Finn said, “they had some relatively significant damage to a portion of their roof. And we have procured an emergency contractor who's going to do some repair work for that.”

Finn said so far, they haven’t seen any damage inside. Shea’s has been dark since March due to the coronavirus pandemic and has been forced to lay off several permanent employees.

Nick Lippa leads our Arts & Culture Coverage, and is also the lead reporter for the station's Mental Health Initiative, profiling the struggles and triumphs of those who battle mental health issues and the related stigma that can come from it.
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