DISASTERS

Hurricane-force gusts batter New York state; 200K lose power

Utility crews are working to restore electricity service to about 200,000 homes and businesses in western New York after hurricane-force winds toppled trees and power lines.

More than half of the outages Thursday morning are in the Rochester area, where fallen trees and utility poles are blocking several roads. Officials in two suburban towns, Greece and Irondequoit, have declared states of emergency.

High winds began hitting western New York on Wednesday afternoon, knocking out power across a region stretching from the state's southwestern corner through the Buffalo area to Lake Ontario's southern shoreline.

The National Weather Service says a wind gust of 81 mph was recorded at the Rochester airport. Some flights headed to Rochester had to be diverted to other airports.

There have been no reports of serious injuries caused by the windstorm.