(Reuters) - More than 100,000 customers remained without power in upstate New York on Friday and were told that some outages could last for days after fierce winds toppled power lines and damaged homes and businesses.
Utilities companies reported that nearly 127,000 customers were without power as of 1 a.m. local time as crews continued to access the damage, remove trees and repair power lines after 70 mph (110 kph) wind gusts blew through the area on Wednesday.
"Due to the considerable damage, the companies continue to advise customers to plan for outages extending past the next 24 hours and in some areas may last for multiple days," power companies NYSEG and RG&E said in a statement.
Homes and business owners throughout the area spent the day on Thursday cleaning up debris and assessing the damage to their structures while crews cleared downed trees and power lines that made some roads impassable.
"I'm alive, my daughter is alive ... so I'm happy. Just pick up the pieces and start all over again, that is all I can do," Twanna Lister said to TWC News in Rochester after a tree smashed through a home she was renting.
The Rochester City School District canceled classes on Friday for its 28,000 students in the hopes that classes will resume on Monday.
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(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Michael Perry)