Primary Day storms knocks out power, town presses on

A thunderstorm with high winds and heavy downpours caused a power outage in Old Forge and surrounding areas shortly past 7 p.m. on Tuesday, September 13.

However, the storm did not interrupt the Primary Day voting at the Park Avenue Building.

Prior to the storm hitting, the National Weather Service in Albany had issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Northern Herkimer County and surrounding areas, including the McKeever area.

Bob Lowenberg, the Republican Voting Coordinator for the Optical Scan voting machines at the Webb 1 voting location, said there were no problems using the voting machines because they are equipped with back-up power that lasts for two to three hours.

“The power went out at 7:15 p.m., and at 9 p.m. when the polls closed we still had power. There was a lot of thunder and lightning before the power outage, but we didn’t notice it in the building until the lights went out. Even without power, everything worked pretty well,” Lowenberg said.

The exit lights in the room provided faint light, but Lowenberg was able to borrow two portable lights from the fire department which provided better lighting, he said.

Though local news broadcasts reported the power outage was due to a possible tornado that passed through the McKeever area, just south of Old Forge, Town of Webb Highway Superintendent Casey Crofut indicated that Webb suffered no obvious damage.

“I haven’t gotten one phone call about any trees down. I heard that there were a few trees down on Moose River Road, but not in Webb. I checked all of our roads down that way this morning (9/14) and there wasn’t even a branch out of place,” Crofut said.

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