Storm clean-up is underway

Gwen Chamberlain
Penn Yan fire fighters were called to 160 Main Street because a section of the building's roof had been damaged by wind Thursday morning.

Cleaning up debris and making repairs to damaged roads, ditches and culverts was the order of the day Thursday around Yates County, following two days and nights of strong storms that washed through the area.

Wednesday evening Middlesex Supervisor Robert Multer declared a state of emergency and some residents were evacuated from a South Lake Road neighborhood.

The American Red Cross established a shelter at the Middlesex Firehouse, where two people spent the night after their home in the hamlet of Middlesex was flooded.

Spike says the Middlesex Fire Department set up a command post at the Vine Valley Community Center, where officials from the Sheriff's Department, Office of Emergency Management and highway departments were stationed.

"It was a busy night for many of us and for a lot of volunteers," commented Spike.

On Thursday morning the Middlesex Highway Department restored one lane of South Lake Road.

The only other road that was closed was Burke Hill Road in Italy, although Yates County highway workers are making repairs to Italy Turnpike Road.

Boaters Advisory

On Thursday morning, Sheriff Ron Spike issued a boater's advisory for Keuka, Seneca and Canandaigua Lakes. Because of the heavy rainfall, gullys and streams emptying into the lakes have carried trees, limbs and debris which could pose a hazard to boaters, Spike advises, noting there is major and heavy debris in the Keuka Outlet.


While most emergency calls Wednesday evening seemed to be for flooded basements, Penn Yan fire fighters were also called to an Elm Street neighborhood, where Sucker Brook overflowed into the street and yards when the culvert became clogged with debris. Elm Street was closed to traffic overnight. In Penn Yan alone, 12 basements were pumped by the volunteers Wednesday evening, according to Second Assistant Fire Chief Mike Clancy.

More calls for flooded basements were coming in on Thursday.

Fire fighters also responded to incidents of trees down into wires, and to roof damage at 160 Main Street due to wind damage on Thursday.