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Ortt announced emergency shelter in aftermath of storm

NORTH TONAWANDA - Due to the severe weather that residents across Western New York had to endure Friday evening, as a result of severe thunderstorms, North Tonawanda opened up a temporary shelter for both North Tonawanda and Niagara County residents to seek assistance if they needed to.

Early Saturday morning, North Tonawanda Mayor Robert G. Ortt announced an emergency shelter had been set up at the North Tonawanda High School Alumni Center, 405 Meadow Drive, North Tonawanda. The Red Cross was there to assist and provide transportation to those who needed it.

“We had a severe thunderstorm, which knocked out several power stations and caused severe flooding, not just in North Tonawanda but across Niagara County,” said Ortt.

According to Ortt, the city was in close contact with National Grid in the effort to restore power as quickly as possible. And the city did just that. Initially there were thousands of people without power throughout the city, however by Saturday afternoon they were down to only 400 people that were still left without power.

The mayor asked for the continued patience of the residents as they worked diligently to get the city back to its normal state.

He added, “Residents who have suffered property damage are encouraged to take photographs and document the damage for their insurance purposes.”

No clients sought assistance at the shelter during or after the storm, but Disaster Services personnel remained in contact with Emergency Management officials from across the area and were ready to assist area residents as needed.

“I want to thank all of our staff and volunteers for responding so quickly to help our neighbors in need after last night’s storms,” said Kenneth Turner, chief disaster officer for the American Red Cross, WNY and Finger Lakes Regions.

Although there was concern of damage to residents properties, flood warnings, down power lines, and fallen tree limbs, the storm was unable to keep festival goer’s away from Canal Fest for the last weekend of celebrations.

Saturday and Sunday welcomed thousands to the annual craft show, which lined the streets of Tonawanda and North Tonawanda.

Different types of crafts made from wood, metal, glass, yarn, and more allowed residents that chance to spend the day walking up and down the streets as they stopped at the tents that caught their eye.

Those who attended the event were able to finish up their day on Sunday with their choice of a final bite to eat from a variety of different vendors and restaurants who were present at the festival.

Among those vendors was the Ken-Ton Lodge, whose representatives were selling beef brisket for $6 per sandwich in order to raise money for scholarship funds for the class of 2014.

And finally, the week long festival came to an end with a beautiful display of fireworks.

In its entirety, the 31st annual Canal Fest welcomed many residents to the Twin Cities.

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