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Snow and leaves causing concerns for WNY

Posted at 1:57 PM, Nov 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-17 18:36:41-05

It may feel like summer, and even look like it with many leaf-filled trees, but local government officials are concerned about the forecast for wet snow that could start this weekend.

The biggest worry is power outages because the snow can create excessive load on trees with leaves.  

WNY saw the result of that in 2006 when an early October snow storm knocked down limbs and took out power to thousands of people for days.

Street flooding is another worry because leaves are covering storm drains.  Officials in West Seneca are asking residents to clear leaves off of drains by their homes.

John Gullo, emergency manager for the town, said while no one is trying to overreact, it is wise for people to make sure you have gas in your car, food in your house and have prescriptions up to date - just in case.

National Grid is reminding people to keep the companies number (1-800-867-5222) close at hand in case they lose electricity.

"They should never assume that we know that they are out," said spokesperson Steve Brady.

Brady is also warning that if limbs and power lines do come down, people should not go near them because even wet wood can conduct electricity.

If the snow does cause an outage, it is recommended to unplug sensitive electronic equipment until power comes back on.  However, keep a light on so you will know when electricity is restored.

People with generators are reminded to not run power into their homes until the main circuit breakers are turned off or fuses removed to prevent a back flow of electricity into the system.  Even small generators can cause a serious hazard to power crews working on lines.

7 Eyewitness New Reporter Ed Reilly has more in his reports.