A state of emergency was declared in Kingston by Mayor Steve Noble on Thursday morning after a vicious storm brought inch-wide hail and 60MPH wind gusts to Ulster County on Wednesday night.
Noble advised that any unnecessary travel in Kingston is restricted until further notice, citing numerous downed trees and power lines. Uptown Kingston was especially hard hit, with several roads remaining impassible Thursday morning. He added, “All Kingston Parks and Recreation summer programs and facilities are closed today. Offices are open.”
As of 7 a.m. Thursday, Central Hudson was reporting approximately 5,500 Kingston customers still without power, with numerous lingering outages in surrounding areas. Noble noted that “Much of the cleanup is dependent on Central Hudson clearing power lines, and so clean up from this storm will take some time.”
According to the City of Kingston’s Facebook page, “Central Hudson has reported that 90% of power in the City of Kingston will be restored by 10pm” on Thursday night. The post continued: “Salvation Army (35 Cedar St.) will be open today and will be providing social service assistance. The soup kitchen is open & providing meals. Fair Street Church (209 Fair St) will be open starting at 11:00am for anyone without power. They do not have air conditioning but they do have electricity. City Hall’s Council Chambers will be open until 4:00pm for those without power to cool off and charge devices.”
Kingston wasn’t the only area hit hard by the storm. According to Hudson Valley Weather, there were “10,000 outages as of this [Thursday] morning, with the largest concentration being South of the Ashokan Reservoir from its western end and extended eastward through Kingston to the river… Some areas within this zone also saw concentrated areas of severe damage that may have been caused by a microburst, straight line winds or even a brief tornado.”
Local social media was full of dramatic images of the storm’s aftermath this morning, including trees piercing through homes and cars, roadways blocked by downed power lines, and leaves scattered everywhere. Hudson Valley Weather mentioned that loose leaves clogging storm drains had contributed to flooding in some areas.
Emergency responders worked through the night to tackle the widespread damage, and sirens could be heard throughout Kingston. Fire/rescue teams responded to area reports of trees on wires causing fires and sparking, transformers and utility poles in flames, and wires down on cars.
Hurley Road Closures
The Town of Hurley also took a beating from the storm. As of 8:45 a.m. on Thursday, road closures were still in effect for Dug Hill Road, Canary Hill Road, Eagles Nest Road, and Thielpape Road. Emergency responders reported having to wait for Central Hudson to clean up downed wires before being able to respond to some of the areas of destruction.