Submitted by ub on Wed, 07/09/2014 - 09:11

As this Summer continues to develop, Mother Nature is showing no mercy. The West sinks deeper into drought conditions and severe thunderstorms blanket the Plains to the Mid-Atlantic region.

Last night weather conditions were surprising to say the least. According to forecasters at our National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center, they expect a slight risk of severe weather on Wednesday in the central Plains. The area of greatest concern is in eastern Colorado, western Kansas and southwest Nebraska. The main threat with these storms will be damaging winds and hail.

Meanwhile, NY Governor Cuomo today toured storm damage in Central New York. The Governor also held a briefing to discuss the storm and damage in the surrounding communities at the Smithfield Fire Department in Peterboro. Video of the Governor’s briefing can be found here.

In response to the severe storms that struck the region last night and early this morning, a variety of state agencies are assisting local governments with their recovery efforts. Regional staff from the New York State Department of Homeland Security & Emergency Services’ (DHSES) Office of Emergency Management is assisting county emergency management personnel in ongoing damage assessments. Governor Cuomo has directed the Department of Financial Services (DFS) to deploy its Mobile Command Center to provide assistance on insurance issues to individuals and businesses impacted by the storm, and the Department of Public Service has extended its helpline hours as crews continue to repair power outages.

The Department of Public Service will extend Call Center Helpline hours beginning today, July 9 until 7:30 P.M., and continuing from 7:30 A.M. to 7:30 P.M., Thursday, July 10, as needed, to assist consumers in their storm restoration efforts. The Department of Public Service Call Center Helpline can be reached by calling 1-800-342-3377. Meanwhile, Staff of the Department of Public Service will continue to monitor the utilities’ efforts throughout the storm restoration period.

As of 11:00 a.m., 31,600 power outages had been restored and 44,991 remain in some of the hardest hit counties. A regional breakdown of power outages and restorations as of 11:00 a.m. this morning is as follows:

· Tompkins: 11,162 currently out; restored 3,900
· Oswego: 6,936 currently out; restored 4,100
· Onondaga: 8,790 currently out; restored 6,000
· Oneida: 7,330 currently out; restored 10,500
· Warren: 5,117 currently out; restored 1,400
· Lewis: 2,927 currently out; restored 1,500
· Madison: 2,729 currently out; restored 4,200

The New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) has all maintenance crew members available in the affected counties to assist utilities and localities with storm clean up. DOT is most active right now in Madison, Herkimer and Oneida Counties, with 54 staff and 28 pieces of equipment working on storm cleanup, along with the closure of Route 365 in the Town of Remsen, Oneida County. Earlier this morning, Route 5 in the Town of Manheim, Herkimer County was re-opened.

There are no state road closures in the other impacted counties, although ýState Police have assigned additional patrols in Lewis, Madison and Jefferson Counties to assist with traffic control due to power outages.

In Madison County, at least five homes suffered major damage. Overall, the most significant damage in Madison County was confined to a five mile swath that includes the Towns of Eaton, Smithfield, and Madison.

The National Weather Service has two storm survey teams in the affected areas in New York. After assessing the damage in various locations, each team will make a determination as to the type of severe weather that occurred (tornado, straight line winds, etc.). One team is being deployed to Skaneateles, East Syracuse, and Rome, while the second team is being deployed to Smithfield, the Greater Madison County area, Oneida, and Verona. So far, the NWS has determined that a tornado touched down in Smithfield, Madison County on Tuesday night.

Summer has had some surprises in store for much of the East, threatening areas along the coast. While this year's hurricane season is expected to be below normal, forecasters say a couple of systems may make landfall in the United States.

Meanwhile, a tree on St. Frances de Chantal School property damages car in Throgs Neck - News 12 Bronx…