Wind storm batters WNY, thousands left without power

Jan 12, 2020

Winds were diminishing late Sunday morning after a peak gust of 69 miles per hour was reported at the airport weather station. The strong winds, which began blowing through the region around 4:30am, brought down tree limbs and power lines.

Credit WBFO File Photo

During the peak of the wind storm, power was out for 55,000 to 60,000 utility customers across the eight counties of Western New York. But as the winds diminished, crews began restoration efforts. As of 11am Sunday, about 20,000 New York State Electric and Gas customers in Erie County were still without power.  National Grid was reporting just under 5,600 of its Erie County customers were waiting for their service to be restored.

NFTA spokesperson Helen Tederous said the Buffalo Niagara International Airport was having some "power issues" because of the storm. But shortly before 11am, Tederous provided an update that full power had been restored at the airport. Still, there were some flight delays and cancelations listed on the arrival and departures board through the early hours of Sunday afternoon.

The strong winds ushered in a cold front. But when the winds diminish later this afternoon, National Weather Service Meteorologist Bob Hamilton says the next few days will be rather tranquil.

"The warmest day of the week will be Tuesday when a high of 50 is expected," Hamilton said. "Then we gradually cool off the remainder of the week."

The rain has ended. But the amount of rainfall was less than meteorologists were expecting for the region. The flood watch that had been in effect is canceled.

Saturday was a record breaker for high temperature -- a 67 degree reading that broke the old record of 61 for a January 11th that was set just two years ago.