CANTON, N.Y. (AP) — A winter storm bringing ice and whipping winds to upstate New York and northern Vermont knocked out power to thousands of customers as officials urged motorists to avoid traveling in dangerously slick conditions.
More than 95,000 utility customers woke up without power Sunday morning in New York, Vermont and Maine because of widespread ice accumulations.
In New York's St. Lawrence County, almost 2 inches of ice had accumulated early Sunday, coating tree limbs and power lines, county dispatch operations supervisor Jim Chestnut said.
Winds were expected to pick up, increasing the chances of outage issues, but a state of emergency was keeping roads clear of hapless motorists, Chestnut said.
"It's a big party weekend, the Saturday before Christmas," Chestnut said. "This put a little bit of a damper onto that."
"Fortunately, there were not many accidents but mainly because people are staying off the road," added County Administrator Karen St. Hilaire.
Up to an inch of ice had accumulated across the northernmost part Vermont, said Conor Lahiff, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Burlington, Vt. In Maine, about 5 inches of snow had accumulated in the northernmost counties, with ice accumulations up to a half-inch along the coast, he said.
"It's pretty messy out there. Lots of power outages, lots of trees down," Lahiff said.
Significant accumulations of ice were expected to continue into Sunday afternoon.
National Grid reported nearly 67,000 customers without power in New York on Sunday morning. Spokesman Steve Brady said that number likely will rise. The utility said earlier it could be Monday before service is restored to some customers.