Strong storms rolled across southern Allegany County Wednesday afternoon. It created some temporary chaos in the Riverview Heights area in Willing. Multiple incidents were reported.
In one instance a tree came down off power lines with fire, another crashed down on State Route 19 landing a live power line down across the highway. The more significant issue was a tree dropping on a gas meter, creating an immediate gas leak in the Heights.
An evacuation of the neighborhood was immediately ordered. Fire crews from Willing and Wellsville responded with Genesee, PA coming to New York to stand by. National Fuel Gas promptly responded to the scene and quickly shut the gas off, limiting further evacuations. As the storm subsided, more emergency calls were received for Willing firefighters.
Allegany County Fire Coordinator Jeff Luckey also responded to the command scene.
Statement from Allegany County Emergency Management: “Two small thunderstorms came together over Willing today around 2:10, by 2:15 they left the area. First look…it appears to have been a microburst. Many yard trees were blown over and a few homes had some damage. Willing FD is still out helping the community. National Grid and tree crews are working to restore power.”