Potsdam police lifted a state of emergency at around 4:00 Wednesday morning, with at least most people expected to have power back by Wednesday evening . As of early Wednesday afternoon, about 200 people were still without power, and National Grid was on the scene working to fix dangerous power line situations. Police say there still could be travel delays in certain areas, because some streets remain impassable.
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No one was injured in the storm, but Potsdam village Administrator David Fenton says there have been at least a couple storm-related injuries: "Well, we had a guy who was helping to secure Sergi’s roof last night when the storm had long passed, and he fell and had an injury. And I also heard today that there was a lady at SUNY Potsdam was running out of a building to roll the window up in her car, and she fell down some steps and got hurt doing that."
Several buildings were damaged in the storm, and the village has temporarily condemned the Sergi’s building and two others. Fenton says officials are just trying to get people out of the buildings until they’re fixed. And he says the timing of the storm, during the summer, has made that situation a little less difficult: "There actually weren’t that many people in occupancy right now, primarily because it’s summer and most of the students are gone. Most people have found other places to go, we haven’t really had to deal with individuals and moving around that much to this point. They’ve pretty much had somewhere else they can do, so it’s been pretty easy in that respect so far."
For people without a place to say, the American Red Cross of Northern New York set up a shelter at Norwood Norfolk Central last night. Only one person took advantage of the shelter last night, but Kelly Hecker of the Red Cross says it’s still open, and her office is getting calls from people who need a place to stay. "Because we have a shelter open we won’t put people in hotels. We’re providing a place for them to lay their head, and gather themselves and try to figure out the next step."
The shelter is also providing food and water. Hecker says people needing services should call the red cross at 315-268-0102.
Village Administrator David Fenton says the major priority for today and the near future, is getting things back to normal: "Certainly we’d like to see power to everybody by the end of the day, and having all of our roads open again shortly. Those two things we’d really like to see. And the third thing we need to start working on is getting all these businesses that have been damaged, getting them some help to get them back in business again as quick as we can."
Fenton also says there’ll be a lot of damaged trees to deal with as well. The village will soon begin the process of adding up how much the damage is costing, to see if it will qualify for state aid.