Westchester Was Rocked By Multiple Tornadoes And Mass Power Outages
This most recent spring storm hit Westchester hard last week, as it uprooted trees, caused widespread power outages and even ripped structures from their foundation.
In fact, this storm was more than just a regular rainstorm, the weather system actually created two tornadoes that spun through the area at speeds of 110 mph. It damaged homes, knocked over sheds and threw trees into power lines.
The damage was so severe that 33 roads had to be closed throughout Westchester and the Bronx. All three of the commuter trains had to be shut down as well, mostly due to all the fallen trees.
The power outages left 11,000 homes in Westchester without electricity, so the city opened comfort stations to allow people to charge their phones, use the restroom and have a safe place to stay while technicians worked to repair the power lines.
The extensive tree damage is the main issue that crews are dealing with to get the roads open and power restored. About 160 trees were knocked over, creating quite a chaotic situation for residents. Unfortunately, these intense storms are most likely to continue, making it necessary for home and business owners in Westchester to start preparing now for more to come.
Be Prepared For Tornadoes This Storm Season
Even though tornadoes are rare in Westchester, storms seem to be becoming more powerful and more frequent, making it necessary to prepare for the worst. To be as informed as possible, you should be aware of what the signs of a tornado look like:
- Dark, greenish colored sky
- Medium to large hailstones
- Dark colored, large, rotating cloud
- Winds that sound like a freight train
These weather conditions signify that a tornado is coming, which means you need to take action to stay safe. You should be aware of any FEMA-approved, safe buildings in your community that you can use for shelter if you get caught out in the open during the storm.
Stay up to date on the weather conditions by paying attention to the media. These storms can be unpredictable and ever-changing, so keep your phone charged and handy in order to get the latest information and call for help if need be.
You should also build an emergency kit and go over an evacuation plan with your family, so everyone knows exactly what to do if you are asked to leave your home. With the proper communication, you can stay calm and safe until the tornado passes.
How To Deal With Prolonged Power Outages
Westchester is set to experience many more storms this season, and most likely they will cause more power outages that can last for several days. The only thing you can do when there is a prolonged loss of power is to wait for the repair workers to clean up any trees that are interfering with the power lines and make the necessary repairs.
To make sure you are prepared the next time your home is left without power you should make a kit to help you deal with the blackout. This should include flashlights with extra batteries, a battery-operated radio, drinking water, and non-perishable food.
You may also want to consider purchasing a generator, especially when you consider situations like Hurricane Sandy that left people without power for weeks. If you do buy a portable generator, it would be smart to have a professional set it up for you and show you how to work it since they can be complicated if you’ve never used one before.
Once the power has been lost, turn off all lights and anything running on electricity, except for one light. When the power is restored the light will go on, giving you an immediate notification that you have electricity again.