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High winds prompt lakeside park closings, evacuations, power outages

High winds Monday afternoon prompted the closing of lakeside areas in Buffalo and a flood-prone stretch of Route 5 in the Town of Hamburg.

In Buffalo, Mayor Byron W. Brown announced that Broderick Park, Erie Basin Marina and Ralph C. Wilson Centennial Park, formerly LaSalle Park, are closed to pedestrians and vehicular traffic until further notice due to the wind storm.

Brown told residents of the city's Old First Ward to be prepared to evacuate quickly, if necessary.

Route 5 in Hamburg was closed between Big Tree Road and LaSalle Avenue at midafternoon due to flooding. Residents of Hamburg's Hoover Beach area were evacuated.

The high winds caused numerous power outages, primarily in southern Erie County, but crews made progress in restoring them as winds diminished during the evening.

At 5 p.m., County Executive Mark Poloncarz reported on Twitter that there were 2,642 NYSEG customers and 748 National Grid customers without power in the county.

By 11 p.m. NYSEG had restored electricity to more than 2,000 of those customers, with the remaining outages centered in the Towns of Aurora and Colden. All of the National Grid customers were reconnected in Erie County by 11 p.m., according to the company's website.

The National Weather Service reported peak wind gusts of 61 mph in Brant, 60 mph in Hamburg and 56 mph at the weather station at Buffalo Niagara International Airport in Cheektowaga, all between 3 and 4 p.m. In Fredonia, a gust of 65 mph was reported. By 11 p.m., wind at the airport was west at 20 mph with gusts to 28 mph.

NWS had issued a high wind warning for the northern counties of Western New York until 2 a.m. Tuesday, but it was canceled by mid-evening.

A lake shore flood warning, which had been posted until 8 a.m. Tuesday for Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara counties, also was taken down early.

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