Niagara Falls Residents Shaken by Strength of Storm

April 28, 2011 Updated Apr 29, 2011 at 12:07 AM EDT

By Kendra Eaglin

...
April 28, 2011 Updated Apr 29, 2011 at 12:07 AM EDT

(WKBW)
Niagara Falls, NY

Hurricane force winds peaked at nearly 85 miles per hour in Niagara Falls. The winds knocked down trees, uprooting the concrete sidewalk, leaving a giant gaping hole in one neighborhood.

But the destruction is widespread says David Rendina of the City of Niagara Falls Forestry Department, "I've personally been out to 38 calls with my crew and there's several other crews responding city wide to this emergency."

Resident's are shocked by the extensive damage.

"I've never seen it like this before either. I mean, trees coming down, wires coming down. It's just been crazy around here since 8 o'clock this morning," said Gene DiGregorio, a Niagara Falls Resident.

The windstorm stirred up DiGregorio's dog Nicky who is blind.

"He's blind and he can't see. The weather did kind of bother him, the wind and stuff," said DiGregorio.

Right outside of Family Video on 24th street, a tree crashed onto electrical wires. The heavy branches bent a close by light pole in half.

"The windows was like cracking, like you know making that wind noise. That real strong wind noise. Then I looked outside and the trees was like bending over like it's about to fall down," recalled Shaquille Harrell, also a Niagara Falls resident.

More than 12 hours after the brutal winds first blew through the area a some street lights were still out and residents across the city were still stuck in the dark without power.

'I can do without the television but I'm cold so I'll just have to put extra blankets on and hopefully they'll be here at least tomorrow morning, and the food is melting," said Edith Colton, who lives in Niagara Falls.

Approximately 1400 National Grid customers were still without power at 11:30pm Thursday, most of them are in the Lasalle section of the city.