ULSTER COUNTY, New York (WABC) -- Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan declared a state of emergency after strong thunderstorms tore through the area Wednesday night into Thursday, knocking down trees and power lines and leaving thousands in the dark.
There were more than 10,000 without power at the peak of the outages, representing 11.64% of Central Hudson's customers in the county.
"With severe thunderstorms last night causing extensive damage, including tree limbs down, roadways blocked, and power outages, I am declaring a State of Emergency in Ulster County," Ryan said. "I have committed county resources to provide critical emergency services and to clear our roadways safely and efficiently. Additionally, we have activated our Emergency Operations Center and are working closely with local officials to respond to storm impacts. Given the dangerous conditions, I am encouraging all residents to stay off of the roads. I want to thank all of our emergency responders who are working non-stop to keep our roads clear and our residents safe."
Ryan urged all residents to avoid any unnecessary travel, particularly in areas hardest hit, including Kingston, Hurley, Marbletown, Esopus and the Town of Ulster.
Fallen trees littered the roadways, leaving some impassable.
Road crews with the Ulster County Department of Public Works were mobilized to support the cleanup , and Central Hudson had approximately 210 crew members working to restore services.
Ulster County also activated the Cooling Center in Kingston, located at the 2nda Iglesia La Mision Church on Elmendorf Street.
Officials will continue to monitor the situation, assess storm damage, and manage incident response.
The state of emergency will be in effect until at least 8 a.m. Friday.