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Storms leave more than 3,000 without power

A line of thunderstorms swept over a large swath of Western New York, downing trees and power lines and hampering search efforts for three missing kayakers on Lake Ontario.

The thunderstorms hit from about 9:30 p.m. through about 11 p.m. and were followed by several waves of heavier showers through the night, said Shawn Smith, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Buffalo.

Nearly all NYSEG customers in the Village of Gowanda have lost power, prompting the Gowanda School District to close for what would have been the first day of school.

"There was a significant amount of trees that were knocked over and power lines taken down in that area," Smith said.

As of 7 a.m. about 1,500 NYSEG customers in Erie County, mostly in southern Erie, had no power and another 2,100 NYSEG customers in Cattaraugus County had no power. About 800 National Grid customers in Cattaraugus, Chautauqua and Erie counties had no power.

A flash flood warning was issued in the western Southern Tier area as well but there were not reports of actual flooding.

There should be no more thunderstorms today but there could be  a few scattered showers as a cooler air mass moves into the region, Smith said. The highs today will be in the upper 60s.



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