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Restoration efforts continue after damaging winds left thousands without power

Power restoration effects continue in the Rochester-Finger Lakes area and Western New York. That follows winds that topped 70 mph in points west of Rochester on Saturday, which saw a gust of 76 mph. The peak gust in Rochester on Saturday was around 60 mph

The winds brought down numerous trees and power lines as well as caused widespread power outages, closed roads and caused some property damage.

By 10 p.m., Saturday nearly 40,000 RG&E customers were without power, many of them in western Monroe County towns.

RG&E said late Saturday night that its hardest hit areas including Monroe, Ontario, Cayuga and Wayne counties. The utility said had more than 1,800 field personnel responding and would be working overnight and until all customers are restored.

National Grid reported about 20,000 customers without power in parts of Monroe, Genesee and Orleans counties on Saturday night.

NYSEG reported several thousand customers without power in parts of the region.

Power outages affected some traffic signals; drivers are reminded to treat all traffic lights that are not working as a 4-way stop.

RG&E expects to restore 95% of customers impacted by the storm by 11:30 p.m. on Monday. The remaining customers without power will be restored on Tuesday.

On Monday morning at 6:45, RG&E said it had just under 7,800 customers without power in Monroe County.

The utility said it was dealing with nearly 300 downed wires and 87 broken poles throughout its service area and has more than 2,000 field personnel working on restoration.

RG&E customers can report downed wires to the utility by calling 1-800-743-1701 or calling 911.

National Grid said that it has more than 3,400 workers active across upstate New York working on restoration efforts and as of around 5 p.m.. on Sunday, had restored power to nearly 180,000 of the more than 215,000 customers impacted by the storm.

National Grid is estimating that in the Western NY region, power restoration will be completed for 90% of affected customers by 11:30 p.m. on Monday.

National Grid customers can reported downed power lines by calling 1-800-867-5222 or by calling 911.

Several thousand NYSEG customers and National Grid customers were affected in Monroe, Genesee, Livingston and Orleans counties.

NYSEG expects to restore 95% of customers by 11:30 p.m. on Monday, with the remaining customers by Tuesday.

NYSEG customers who need to report a downed line can all 1-800-572-1131 or 911.

Dan Kelly, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Buffalo, said that their office has been taking in numerous damage reports from throughout the region.

"Lots and lots of reports of utility lines down, power line, telephone lines; you’ve got a lot of trees down, even some damage to houses with siding and shingles blown off," said Kelly.

Some warming shelters were opened up on Sunday around Monroe County including in Rochester.

Early Sunday evening, Mayor James Smith announced that the David F. Gantt R-Center will be open throughout the night as a Warming Center for anyone needing shelter from the cold weather.

Food will also be available to those in need of a meal. In addition, RTS will provide a direct route from its Transit Center on St. Paul St. to the Gantt Center. Residents needing to reach the Gantt R-Center should take a normal RTS route to the Transit Center and transfer to the bus to the Gantt Center. RTS Staff will be able to assist residents in doing so.

Also, the Jackson R-Center and Genesee Valley Sports Complex will open Monday morning at 8:30 and 8:00am, respectively, to serve those looking for shelter. All other City R-Centers and libraries will be open normal hours on Monday to assist those in need.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.