Severe weather swept through the greater Rochester area last week, causing both loss of life and damage to local infrastructure. The inclement weather was part of a storm system that pummeled the Northeast, including much of upstate New York.

During the storm, LeChase Construction, the contractor for the under-construction Biomedical Engineering building, was concerned about metal paneling that, while sufficiently secured, moved around because of the high winds. UR Security was called on Friday night to help secure the area around the new building.

Despite the high winds, there was never any immediate danger to the area surrounding the construction site.

However, UR Security and the construction contractor decided on a proactive course of action to prevent any possible injuries or damage, especially for people and cars on Intercampus Drive and in the Intercampus Drive Lot.

“The roads were closed as a precaution for about an hour and [UR Parking and Transportation Services] closed a section of the Intercampus Drive Lot,” Director of Planning and Project Management Wayne Goodwin said. “UR Security opened the roads and the parking lot after the paneling was secured to a greater extent.”

Director of UR Security Services Walter Mauldin assisted in the effort to combat the winds.

“During the high wind situation, the contractors contacted us and asked that we assist by temporarily closing roads,” Mauldin said. “I’m glad that they took the initiative to secure the building.”

Major utility providers for the area had to respond to inclement weather, coping with power outages on Friday.

Rochester Gas and Electric reported that nearly 70,000 customers lost power because of the storm, which broke miles of power lines and three dozen utility poles. Despite the poor weather conditions, RG&E crews summarily restored service to nearly 60,000 by Friday night – the 10,000 remaining were supplied power by Saturday evening.

“I’m very proud of the effort that our crews gave under some extremely challenging conditions,” Vice President of Operations for RG&E Mike Conroy said.

The windstorm also claimed lives in the Upstate New York area. According to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, a 53 year-old woman died when a tree was blown onto her car near Irondequoit Bay.It was also reported that many schools canceled classes as a result of the poor weather.

Despite the recent outbreaks of severe weather, this winter has been one of the mildest in recorded Rochester history, with generally low temperatures and small amounts of snowfall.Scott can be reached at tscott@campustimes.org.



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