By DOUG LA ROCQUE
NEW LEBANON – The weather last Thursday, September 7, was fickle but also downright dangerous. Some municipalities escaped with little or no damage, but others, like New Lebanon, were not so lucky. The high winds that accompanied the heavy rain and frequent lightning caused many thees to fall, pulling power lines and poles down with them. Thursday night into Saturday, large pockets of the town were without electricity.
New York State Electric and Gas (NYSEG) crews poured into the town to restore power, helped out by the town highway department and the Lebanon Valley Protective Association (LVPA) (fire department) as they worked to clear the roads of the downed trees and assist the power company removing the obstacles to their power restoration efforts. NYSEG also provided dry ice, which was distributed at the firehouse for those looking at a lengthy power outage. The New Lebanon Library also opened is doors as a cooling center.
By Sunday, all but two homes had their power turned back on, and the dry ice distribution was canceled.
Many people said at the height of the storm it was very scary, hurricane like. A sentiment backed up by Town Supervisor Tistrya Houghtling, who was caught driving when it hit. She tells The Columbia Paper, “Trees were falling all around me, including a large branch that struck the top of my car while driving. Lightning was striking all around and it was raining so hard you could not see to drive.” Fortunately, Ms. Houghtling was not hurt and there were no major injuries reported in the town from the storm as well, just a big mess.