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Peak gusts of 60 mph reported as winds batter Western New York

Western New York's latest wild weather experience has blown into town.

High winds arrived in the region overnight, knocking down tree branches and causing power outages across Western New York throughout the day.

According to the National Weather Service, which had forecast wind speeds as high as 60 mph, winds did hit that mark in Chautauqua County in Dunkirk (62) and Fredonia (60). The Buffalo area saw wind speed highs of 59 mph downtown and 58 at the airport.

Power lines were reported down in Wales due to a fallen tree while trees were reported down in Buffalo, Amherst, Clarence and Aurora. The City of Buffalo's Department of Public Works and Forestry Division responded to more than 20 calls regarding trees affected by the high winds, officials said; most of the calls were for broken branches or limbs.

In Wales, a fallen tree atΒ Vermont Hill Road and Warner Hill Road closed the road there and will necessitate a new utility pole, according to the Erie County Department of Public Works.

About 3,000 in Erie County were without power early Friday morning, according to the web sites of National Grid and NYSEG, but that number was down to about 1,300 by 8 a.m. By 9 a.m. power had been restored to all but about 800.

At around 10:30 a.m., the total rose to about 2,000 outages in Erie County. Just over 1,200 were National Grid customers, including 500 in the Town of Tonawanda and Kenmore and more than 450 from Amherst. Most Amherst residents had their power restored by noon.

About 400 of the close to 750 NYSEG customers without service were from Clarence. By noon, NYSEG was down to 378 outages, mostly in Clarence and Aurora.

At 1 p.m. the total customers without power in Erie County was down to about 700.

In Niagara County, 2,650 National Grid customers were without power as of 9 a.m., but nearly all had their power restored within about an hour.

In downtown Buffalo, emergency responders were at the Hilton Garden Inn at 10 Lafayette Square as the 'G' in the hotel's sign was damaged by the high winds.

In Amherst the town's emergency management department reported morning outages in theΒ Wehrle/Curtwright area and Covent Garden/Renaissance areas that were being attended to by National Grid.

Here's where winds are gusting the most in WNY

Reports of several traffic lights being out had agencies reminding drivers to treat non-operating traffic signals as four-way stops.

A power outage also led to the closing of West Seneca West Middle School.

The weather prompted some agencies to get their messages across in some fun ways via Twitter.

High wind warning posted through late afternoon; Lake Erie seiche expected

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