Niagara Gazette

July 20, 2013

Warm weather turns wicked in the Falls

Staff reports
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — A day that started out with sun and temperatures in the 90s for Niagara Falls and surrounding communities gave way to a blast of high winds and thunderstorms that downed power lines and prompted electricity outages in several areas. 

Across the border in Ontario, the storm's intensity by the middle of Friday evening prompted Environment Canada to issue a tornado warning for several communities, including Niagara Falls, St. Catharines, Grimbsy and Welland. The tornado warning was lifted by around 8 p.m., giving way to a severe thunderstorm warning for those communities.  

Niagara and Erie counties were under severe thunderstorm and flash floodin watch for much of the evening.

Lewiston, Youngstown and points north of Niagara Falls in Niagara County appeared to bear the brunt of the storm damage as police and fire officials reported numerous calls about power line damage, downed trees and limbs and other weather-related calls. 

In Lewiston, as of around 9 p.m., police reported more than 1,200 homes without power in the town and another 780 or so without electricity in the village. 

Around the same time, Niagara Falls firefighters were busy as well attempting to deal with reports of sparking power transformers, arcing wires and trees down on roadways in the downtown area, LaSalle and other parts of the city.