By Jeanne Sager
SULLIVAN COUNTY November 18, 2003 A north wind swept through Sullivan County last week, leaving destruction in its path.
After whipping through the area Wednesday and Thursday, the wind picked up to top speeds Thursday evening, ripping down power lines and dropping trees right and left.
At the worst point Friday morning, more than 8,800 customers were without power, according to NYSEG spokesperson Paul Lounsbury.
Some of those folks waited three days before the lights returned early Monday morning.
We had to bring in crews from all over creation, Lounsbury said.
The men and women worked throughout the weekend making temporary patches, cleaning up oil spills from transformers dropped during the windy night and removing downed power lines from roadways.
By the end of the weekend, crews reported 15 utility poles that were actually broken from the force of the wind.
The hardest-hit areas included homes from Roscoe to Mountaindale, Yulan to Jeffersonville.
The power company established dry ice distribution centers to aid customers in preservation of food, handing out dry ice in Monticello, Livingston Manor and Narrowsburg on Saturday while the American Red Cross set up a shelter at the Neighborhood Facility in Monticello for those who lost heat with the power outage.
According to the Sullivan County 911 Center, multiple fire departments in the area were out Thursday evening and Friday for extended periods of time helping route traffic and clean up wires down on roadways and trees blocking the streets.
Most of the other occurrences throughout the county were the result of falling trees.
With the heavy rains in recent weeks, the saturated ground was unable to hold a lot of the bigger trees when they fell, giant rootballs were left sticking out of the ground.
Its not the old, dead trees that have been falling, its the healthy ones that have been uprooting, Lounsbury noted. You just never know which ones going to fall.
Falling trees spelled disaster to at least a few area residents namely Gaynell Scott of Fallsburg, who was driving in Monticello when an uprooted tree fell directly on her car.
Sources say Scott was not seriously injured, but she had to be taken to Catskill Regional Medical Center.
A felled tree was also responsible for some chilly nights in the Brucher household this weekend.
A 30-year-old tree was uprooted Thursday evening by the winds and dropped right on the home of Carol and Roger Brucher in Callicoon.
Roger wasnt home at the time, but he said his wife and daughter were on the other end of the house when they heard the crack of the tree falling toward their home.
They heard it go, and they vamoosed for the cellar, Brucher said.
The tree left a significant gash in the roof of the house, with tree limbs sticking in the wall of the bathroom and a hole in the roof right above son Kevins bedroom.
Luckily, Brucher said, Kevin is at college and was not in his room at the time of the incident.
Jeffersonville resident Tony Fiorille was doing storm cleanup this weekend when he fell 45 feet out of a pine tree.
According to Fiorilles father, Joe, the young man was airlifted to Westchester Medical Centers trauma ward.
Doctors are still reviewing his case and are considering surgery depending on the status of vertebrae in the younger Fiorilles back.
Hes got full range of motion and everything, Joe said. Hes been damn lucky so far its just one of those crazy things.