High winds down trees, shear gas line in Evans

TOWN OF EVANS, N.Y. (WIVB) — The winds were brisk Thursday morning in Dunkirk, topping out at the airport at 57 mph.

Then a lull set in for a few hours during the late morning into the early afternoon, allowing residents in Fredonia and Dunkirk to venture out. As the afternoon wore on however, the winds began to pick up once again.

“I wasn’t going to come, and I heard the warnings and thought that it was gonna be too windy to come walk,” said Pamela Corsoro of Dunkirk, as she prepared to walk her dog, Sophie. “But it’s actually pleasant out here. The weather is nice for walking, you know? Nice temperature and a nice breeze.”

That nice breeze turned north and strengthened enough hours later to push over a tree near a home in the town of Evans.

Carol Imbascati had just arrived home when the tree sheared off her main gas line, and crashed into the side of her car.

Carol’s neighbor, Kelly Owens, heard it happen, and rushed outside.

“I heard a loud gust of wind and I looked out to see trees blowing against the house,” Owens said. “And all the sudden I heard a crash, so I ran out the door.

“I’m screaming because I smelled gas at that point, ‘Get out, get out! So we all so we all took cover, got our animals out and got the people out and took shelter neighbor’s house to get away.”

Imbascati said the sounds were unmistakable.

“It was just awful,” she said. “It was like a whoosh and a boom, like it was blowing up. I thought, ‘My God,’ because that’s what it sounded like. It sounded like, what is it is the house blowing over or something? It was really really scary.”

Luckily, no one was hurt. Crews replaced the gas line, and Carol’s car was still functional. But in its wake was a mess, which they’ll clean up when the winds die down — and have plenty of firewood for the winter months.

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