ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — More than 8,000 utility customers in eastern New York are without power after severe thunderstorms brought down trees and wires across a three-county region.
National Grid and NYSEG (NYE'-sehg) each report having about 4,000 homes and businesses without electricity Thursday morning. Most of the outages are in neighboring Washington, Warren and Saratoga counties north of Albany.
The outages began Wednesday evening as a line of powerful thunderstorms rolled across the region, bringing heavy rain, hail, lightning and high winds.
The utilities say power is expected to be restored by noon Thursday.
Officials in the Saratoga County town of Ballston say a lightning strike set fire to the four-story bellow tower on a local church. Firefighters extinguished the blaze in about two hours.
More severe storms are forecast for Thursday.