WHITESBORO, N.Y. (WKTV) -- Homeowners are dealing with a massive cleanup after heavy winds and rain brought down trees and power lines across Whitesboro Monday evening.
Some residents still can't believe the strength of the storm.
"I'm like, Oh my God, I've never seen a storm like that ever come through," said Lisa McNeil, a West Street resident in Whitesboro. "It was just like a river coming down. It was wave after wave after wave and then there was hail and then the lightning and thunder and then the tree down here, it was wild."
"We were going from window to window and every time we looked out the window, we saw something else down. There were branches and limbs on vehicles, limbs in the backyard and we looked out here and saw all the limbs on the wires and then of course they started to spark. It was terribly frightening," said Christine Spica, who also lives on West Street. "My husband didn't know what to do, where to turn. You're helpless."
The storm knocked a tree down on West Street. The limbs sparked power lines on fire and cracked the base of a utility pole. Residents looked on as crews replaced the pole and reconnected the wires Tuesday afternoon.
Crews said they've been working nonstop since 8:30 Monday night, trying to reconnect thousands of residents. Throughout the day, chainsaws could be heard around town as residents split up fallen trees and removed debris.
One resident said he watched the storm wreak havoc on his neighbor's home before it did the same to his.
"There was plenty of thunder, lightning and thunder, but then there was just this terrible noise. To me, it just sounded like the gates of hell were opening up and it's my neighbor's house and the tree in the back of their house just got split apart and I've never heard a sound like that before and then just a few minutes later this one came down so I heard it again. I just got to say it makes your skin crawl to hear Mother Nature doing her thing," said Tom Creaser, a homeowner.
First responders said the flood of emergency calls strained their resources, but with the help of neighboring departments, were able to handle the storm.
"It hit us pretty hard, heavy rain, torrential rain, very strong winds and it wreaked havoc once again in the Town of Whitestown and the Village of Whitesboro. So we've had several hundred trees and wires down in our community, once again several roads were blocked, there was localized flooding, but as always we were able to work through it as first responders with our neighboring departments," said Peter Sobel, the fire chief in Whitesboro.
After the severe flooding earlier this summer, some residents are wondering if this is the new way of life.
"I'm just always ready. If they say bad weather's coming, if they say high winds, snow, I'm ready for power outages. I've got an emergency preparedness bag with flash lights and candles. I'll be ready to evacuate," said Spica.
"You have to know we're going to have more storms, more wind, hurricanes like down in New York, New Jersey, microburst, just name it. I'm not a meteorologist but I think this is the new normal," said Creaser.
Residents said signs of frustration are popping up around town.
"I noticed a lot more houses are up for sale. I think people are fed up," said Spica.
All residents should have their power back by Tuesday night.
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