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Buffalo officials warn 'very dangerous storm' isn't over yet

Buffalo's travel advisory remains in effect for the foreseeable future and the city will open warming shelters Sunday night as high winds continue to buffet the region and temperatures begin to drop overnight, Mayor Byron W. Brown said at a City Hall news conference early Sunday evening.

The Skyway and several waterfront parks remain closed as well and city officials urged residents to stay home.

“This is still a very dangerous storm, and we’re asking people to treat it that way," Brown said.

As of 6 p.m., 39,700 National Grid USA customers were without power across Western New York. Adding in New York State Electric and Gas, the number of customers without power reached more than 63,800 in the region by early evening.

Ken Kujawa, National Grid's regional manager, said the utility would not provide estimated power restoration times for customers until the storm dies down and crews have better tallied the extent of the damage. Kujawa said restoration efforts would focus first on cases where public safety is threatened or where there's a problem affecting the transmission network.

Buffalo Fire Commissioner William Renaldo said two people were known to be injured in the city in the storm. One was hurt by a pole and one was hurt by a street light. Renaldo said each suffered minor to moderate injuries.

Lou Petrucci, director of permits and inspections for the city, said an old warehouse at Clinton and Emslie streets partially collapsed due to the strong winds. His office on Sunday as of 6 p.m. had received 21 calls of various forms of property damage.

Brown said Buffalo Public Schools are open Monday as of this point because district officials haven't said otherwise.

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