High winds knock out power across New York

More than 40,000 homes and businesses across New York state are without electricity as winds gusting to 60 mph bring down trees and power lines.

NYSEG reports more than 22,000 customers are without power Thursday morning, with RG&E and National Grid each reporting more than 10,000 outages. Most of RG&E's outages are in Allegan County in the Southern Tier and in the Rochester area.

The outages began Wednesday night when gusts of more than 60 mph were recorded in parts of western New York. The National Weather Service has issued high wind advisories for central and northern New York and high wind warnings for eastern New York.

In the New York City region, a high wind warning and high wind advisory are in effect for portions of the area until 11 a.m. Thursday. Sustained winds of 15-30 mph with gusts up to 50-60 mph are likely.

Meteorologists say the strong winds will usher in a cold front that will send temperatures plummeting 30 degrees or more by the end of Thursday.

City officials are offering these precautions:

During periods of high winds, residents should use caution when walking or driving profile vehicles. Winds at these speeds can cause flying debris, turn unsecured objects into projectiles, and cause power outages.

To prepare, charge cell phone batteries, gather supplies, and turn refrigerators and freezers to a colder setting. Always stay clear of downed power lines. If you are affected by an outage, turn off all appliances and keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed to prevent food spoilage. Do not use generators indoors. If you lose power and have a disability or access needs, or use Life Sustaining Equipment (LSE) and need immediate assistance, please dial 9-1-1.

For the updates and the latest weather info, visit: http://www.weather.gov/okx/.

With the Associated Press