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Democrat Photo by Fred Stabbert III

A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM on Wednesday evening caused 6,000 people to lose power in Sullivan County. Lewis Tree Service of Rochester, which contracts to remove trees for NYSEG, cuts down a tree along Happy Ave. in Bethel.

Wind and Rain
Wreak Havoc

By Fred Stabbert III
WHITE LAKE — June 22, 2001 – When David Smith called home Wednesday night to ask his wife what he should bring home for dinner, he got a very strange response.
“She told me, ‘I lost a window,’” Smith recalled. “Well, I know you can lose a pocketbook, a set of keys or your shoes, but a window?”
As Smith rushed home from Monticello to his Route 17B residence just west of White Lake, he soon realized what she meant.
Two 65-foot Norwegian Spruce trees laid tight against his house, and three more were downed on his property, the result of a severe thunderstorm which criss-crossed Sullivan County about 5 p.m.
The Smiths’ 12-year-old daughter, Jillian, narrowly missed being injured by the flying window casing, which flew several feet and landed on the couch beside her.
A hanging basket of flowers flew nearly 12 feet, flying over Jillian’s head and landing at her brother Troy’s feet, who was working at the computer.
“The rain was coming down so hard,” Jillian said. “After the tree fell down and the window came in, I said, ‘Not the house!’’’
Luckily, the storm passed quickly, but not before a red maple along the Cornelius Duggan School’s driveway in White Lake was also blown down.
“Our crews said it caused phenomenal damage,” Lynn Connors, a spokesperson for NYSEG, said. “We had 6,000 customers without electricity from Narrowsburg, through Lake Huntington into Bethel and White Lake.”
By 4 p.m. yesterday, all but 98 customers were back in service, and Connors said she hoped they would be back on by nightfall.
“Our crews reported a lot of trees down and also 10 poles down,” she said.
The storm also caused Time Warner cable to lose transmission to much of its service area resulting from a problem in Orange County.

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