Vendors, residents clean up afterward
TROY - Severe weather on late Thursday afternoon put a temporary end to the fun at the Troy Fair as high winds, accompanied by heavy rain, downed tree limbs and caused damage at the fairgrounds.
At Alparon Park, vendors who were set up outside in the Lower Meadow for the fair were trying their best to cope with the destruction in the aftermath of the storm, which whipped through the Troy area around 4:30 p.m.
"I know I've got to start all over again," said Kim Robbins of Ulster, one of the vendors at the fair whose merchandise was lost. "It's all gone."
Around 6:15 p.m. Thursday, the fair closed for the night. Dave Martin's Bull Ride Mania, which was scheduled for the evening, was canceled, according to fair president Cathy Jenkins.
She confirmed that no one was injured as a result of the storm. The concession trailers were closed up and the carousel's curtain was pulled down. Electric in the Lower Meadow was out, due to trees toppling.
In a prepared statement, Jenkins said, "the storm damages could have been much worse. No persons or animals were injured and most of the damages can be corrected in short order. We shut down the fair to enable us to focus on repairing the damages. We expect that the Troy Fair and all of its activities will resume as normal on Friday."
The fair will re-open this morning at 8 a.m., as regularly scheduled, according to Jenkins.
At the fair, Robbins was selling jewelry, hair bows, and other items. One of several vendors, she was able to retrieve some anklets after the storm went through, but she said the majority of her merchandise was ruined, as well as her tents.
"My rings went everywhere. I lost a lot."
Around her, other vendors were also combing the ground, trying to save what they could. On the gravel, tree branches lay amid the vendors' items that were scattered about.
Robbins went into the 4-H Building when the storm hit. "They (the fair personnel) told us to get in there, and get in there now," she said.
She heard the wind blowing and thunder and "tapping on the roof." Robbins said she was so upset that she was crying her eyes out.
Vendor Emilio Benites, who was selling women's clothing from New York City and South American crafts from Peru at the fair, was also cleaning up and trying to salvage what he could. He estimated that he lost about half of his merchandise as well as his tent, and said that his losses were expected to be $8,000 to $10,000.
He was hoping to return to the fair for the last two days of the event, and was looking for a new tent Thursday evening to replace the one he had lost in the storm.
The damage was evident elsewhere in the Lower Meadow at the fairgrounds. A large limb that was blown down lay over a trailer for the Live Shark Encounter. The trailer had the image of a toothy shark looking ahead. A short distance away, a large tree limb had crushed a vendor's trailer.
Elsewhere in the Troy area, several large trees were downed throughout Troy Borough, including one that blocked traffic on Canton Street in the downtown. The street was back open later in the evening.
The storm's wrath could also be seen in the Sylvania, Iron Mine Road and Austinville areas, where debris from trees had been blown down. Also, on Route 14 just outside Troy Borough, several downed tree limbs lay across the road.
Ken Krise, who was helping direct traffic, said he couldn't see anything up Redington Avenue when the storm hit due to all the debris blowing around. He heard a crack, and then saw the tree fall down on Canton Street. A car was underneath the tree. The tree fell onto the street near the bridge by Redington Avenue.
On Prospect Street, a large tree limb downed some wires when it fell into a yard. Troy Police Chief Kyle Wisel said it came down in the yard of Andie Simpson. She told Wisel that she felt lucky it didn't land on the house.
No power was reported out on the street and there were no injuries, Wisel said.
Wisel said he was picking up his daughter from day care when the storm hit, and "the wind went wa-aaaaah."
A large tree limb fell down by the Martha Lloyd School, and a large tree also fell over onto a rental house on Elmira Street in Troy owned by Deb Harer. The portion of the house that was damaged was empty of the time of the storm.
She said the tree went through the rafters, the roof, and the ceiling.
An insurance agent herself, she planned on filing a claim.
"There's a tree in the upstairs bedroom."
Eric Hrin can be reached at (570) 297-5251; email: email@example.com.