Liz Holliday

Communications Specialist

New Salem residents begin storm cleanup

NEW SALEM, N.Y. – A quick storm caused a lot of fallen trees and downed power lines in New Salem Wednesday.

“Trees all over,” one resident described the damage. “Trees all over, and we rushed over to make sure the animals were okay.”

The resident said her ceiling collapsed with thousands of dollars in damage from her second floor to her flooded basement.

“I just tried to get pictures safe,” she said. “I had boxes and boxes of pictures.”

The New Salem Fire Department said they received more than 25 calls regarding storm damage with downed trees and power lines leaving many without power. National Grid crews worked throughout the night trying to restore power for residents.

One firefighter said he has been with the department for 27 years and never saw a storm bring down so many trees before.

Pam Branch lives a few houses away from a live, downed power line. She described hearing thunder and hail, and she came out of her house to see the damage.

“I was scared, yes,” she said. “I thought it was a tornado. I really wasn’t sure if it wasn’t.”

Branch said the town is now left to pick up the pieces of the damage.

“Back to picking up some of the mess,” she said. “Everything’s blown across the yard and stuff and get it all picked up.”

“It was very scary, I was sitting on my couch and all of a sudden you just heard this wind,” said Homeowner Doris Sanoreit.

Now she’s waiting for crews to remove a tree that fell against her front porch on Route 85 in New Salem. Although she says it caused little damage, she says the experience has brought the neighborhood closer together.

Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple says his deputies were busy handling 911 calls and making sure residents were safe after last night’s storm swept through the area. He says the fire department had to come through to push the debris and heavy branches off the roadways so that power crews could get through.

He says the storm hit their 911 dispatch center in Voorheesville, but that didn’t affect calls. National Grid says there are about 3,000 to 4,000 residents still without power and they’re hoping to restore it by the end of Thursday.

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