SUNSET BAY – Clean-up continues in several shoreline communities along Lake Erie following the weekend’s windstorm, including Sunset Bay, one of the hardest hit towns in Chautauqua County.
“We already know that this caused widespread damage, down trees, down electrical wires throughout Western New York, loss of power, some flooding,” explained New York Governor Kathy Hochul. “This community, according to our supervisor here, experienced 77 mile an hour winds, which is quite extraordinary.”
The brunt of the damage happened along Lake Erie’s waterfront according to New York Governor Kathy Hochul.
“Dunkirk and Genesee counties experienced winds of upwards of 80 miles an hour. Other areas along Lake Ontario, 60 miles an hour. We have not seen significant flooding other than these very close to the waterfront homes,” contented Hochul. “I do know Chautauqua County, the waterfront communities, have also been hit hard but inland there has not been a significant amount of damage.”
During the height of the storm, almost 300,000 customers in New York werel without power as a result of the high wind storm Saturday evening. As of early Monday morning around 10,000 people from Buffalo to Dunkirk remained in the dark.
The state is offering dry-ice, bottled water, and shelters to combat the damages incurred over the weekend. There is one confirmed fatality from the storm, a man from Plattsburg, NY after a tree fell on his car.
Storm chasers Mitch Bellinger and Logan Eschrich surveyed some of the damage in Sunset Bay.
“I was heading back east and I kept seeing flashes up in the sky, and I was like, ‘man, that looks like lightning,’ but sure enough it was power flashes due to the wind gusts that we had last night,” said Eschrich. “Our highest wind gust that we recorded was 63 m.p.h. here in Sunset Bay Beach.”
Similar to a hurricane’s storm surge, the team also mentioned the massive amounts of sand on the roadways that flooded in from the beach.
“How far the water actually came inland, just about half a mile up the street. There was water up to people’s bumpers on their cars,” continued Eschrich. “Now that water has receded, and it is slowly receding out of other areas. I know just behind us there’s a little dip in the land. The water is still sitting there, but not moving. There’s just nowhere for it to drain.”
Additionally, the two reports utility work continues on route 28 to clear up fallen trees and power lines.