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Here's what to know ahead of Saturday's windstorm

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Posted at 10:04 PM, Dec 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-10 23:26:41-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — There is a high wind warning for Niagara, Orleans, Erie, Genesee, Wyoming and Chautauqua Counties on Saturday from 1 PM until 11 PM for southwest winds between 35-45 MPH and gusts between 65-70 MPH.

There is a wind advisory for Cattaraugus and Allegany Counties on Saturday from 1 PM until Sunday at 1 AM with winds 25-35 MPH and gusts of 50-55 MPH.

There is a lakeshore flood warning for Niagara, Erie and Chautauqua Counties on Saturday from 1 PM until Sunday at 1 AM

And much of Western New York is preparing for Saturday’s windstorm, that means many closures and safety precautions. Town of Hamburg Emergency Manager Sean Crotty said you should bring holiday decorations inside, charge your phone and be prepared to stay in.

“You just want to be extra cautious with your travels,” Crotty said. “And if you don’t have to be out on the roads, don’t be.”

The City of Buffalo is closing the Erie Basin Marina, Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Centennial Park, Broderick Park and the Bird Island Pier. Hofbräuhaus will close all outdoor activities tomorrow as well. The City of Buffalo also asks people to avoid non-essential travel tomorrow between 1 PM and 11 PM.

“This is a storm that needs to be taken seriously,” Mayor Byron Brown said.

1,000 national grid personnel from Western New York, Ohio, Michigan and Ontario will be in the area to respond to outages.

“It’s inevitable that when we see these wind speeds, we’re expected to see tomorrow, that there will be power outages,” National Grid Regional Director Ken Kujawa said.

If your provider is National Grid, you can text “OUT” to 64743 to report a power outage. If your provider is NYSEG call them at 800.572.1131 or use their online form.

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Crotty and National Grid say leave downed wires alone, they say any wire should be treated like it is live. Crews will be on call to clean up wires and trees.

“Whatever is the safest mean to do it and get it cleaned up is how we are going to approach that,” Crotty said.

If your power does go out and you have a generator, here is what to know:

  • Operate the generator as far away from your home as possible
  • Do not operate it in your garage
  • Keep all doors and windows closed while using it.

And it is best to stay away from the water and avoid watching the storm away from your house.
“Every time there’s a storm, people drive through, it turns into a carnival of cars coming through,” Crotty said. “And inhibits our ability to do our job safely and slows us down.

As of now there is no plan to close the Skyway, the state’s department of transportation will make that call depending on conditions tomorrow.

On Sunday from noon to 4 PM, National Grid will have a dry ice and bottled water distribution for customers without power at these locations:

JFK Community Center: 114 Hickory St, Buffalo, NY 14204

Murphy Fire Training Center: 665 Brigham Rd, Dunkirk, NY 14048

Batavia Fire Department: 18 Evans St, Batavia, NY 14020