Thunderstorms drop more than two inches of rainfall

A car plows through flood water on Fifth Avenue in Gloversville. (Photo courtesy of Brenda Kambeite)

FULTON COUNTY — Severe weather that rolled through the area on Wednesday afternoon produced some minor damage in Fulton County, but officials say there was limited impact produced by the storms overall. The National Weather Service in Albany reported the area received two inches of rain yesterday.

Fulton County Office of Emergency Management Director Steven Santa Maria said today that Wednesday’s storms brought several trees and power lines down across the county and caused minor flooding to some roadways, but as of this morning conditions had cleared with no reported road closures and power restored to most areas.

“I think the response overall from everybody, emergency services, highway workers, National Grid and private contractors, was all great,” Santa Maria said.

National Grid this morning reported power outages affecting approximately 119 customers in Johnstown, Gloversville and Mayfield with an estimated restoration time of 11:15 a.m.

Santa Maria noted that power had been knocked out to traffic lights along portions of the Route 30A corridor and Route 29 in Johnstown with temporary stop signs in place as National Grid crews work today to restore power.

The Cayadutta Creek near the Johnstown Cemetery on Perry Street brims with fast flowing waters from torrential rain following a powerful storm that set off a tornado warning, and flooded streets and downed trees throughout the county Wednesday afternoon. (The Leader-Herald/Josh Bovee)

“If traffic lights are out, treat them as a four way stop,” Santa Maria said as a reminder.

Santa Maria said minor damage was reported to homes with roof shingles torn off and several sheds down stretching from the town of Johnstown, through the city of Johnstown and into Gloversville caused by a weather event that has not yet been classified by the National Weather Service.

“We did have some type of an event, we’re not sure if it was a low level tornado an F0 or F1, straight-line winds or a microburst,” Santa Maria said. “Fortunately there was no real structural damage as result of the event.”

The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for Fulton County at 2:26 p.m. on Wednesday that elapsed at 3 p.m. as a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado passed over Johnstown with radar indicating rotation.

Santa Maria said his office will send photos of damage and downed trees taken along the path of the weather event to the National Weather Service today that the agency can use along with radar images and instrument recordings to determine the nature of the event.

The Gloversville Fire Department responds to an electrical issue at the intersection of Main Street and Washington Street in the city following a powerful storm that set off a tornado warning, and flooded streets and downed trees throughout the county Wednesday afternoon. (The Leader-Herald/Josh Bovee)

Although Wednesday’s severe weather did not result in any injuries in Fulton County, according to reports received by his office, Santa Maria reminded residents to be aware of the day-to-day forecast as the National Weather Service has indicated that severe weather has become and will continue to be increasingly common.

“The National Weather Service is kind of telling us we should expect these types of storms to be the new normal with heavy rain, wind or tornadic events part of the new weather pattern for the foreseeable future at least,” Santa Maria said.

With the frequency of severe weather on the rise, Santa Maria reminded residents to monitor the local weather forecast and announcements from area officials to stay informed of any impending storms. He also suggested that residents maintain a supply of 72 hours worth of non-perishable food, water and needed medications in case of power outages.

Santa Maria reminded residents to always treat down power lines as though they are live and to therefore stay away from them. For anyone using a portable generator while the power is out, he noted that these units should always be kept outside while in operation to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

In the event of a tornado, Santa Maria said residents should seek shelter, preferably in a basement or in the lowest area of the building away from windows and doors.

He added that tips on how to prepare for a variety of emergency and weather related events can be found online at fultoncountyny.gov/emergency-management and on the Fulton County EMO app.

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