Meteorologists Debunk Lightning Theory

Mother Nature Should Not Be Blamed For Outage

BUFFALO, N.Y. - National Weather Service officials in Buffalo debate the theory that a lightning strike caused the massive power outage that affected much of the northeastern United States Thursday.

According to Edward Reich, meteorologist at the Buffalo National Weather Service, there were no thunderstorms anywhere in western New York Thursday.

"I believe the report came out of Canada, but we're not sure where the information came from. There was not a thunderstorm within 500 miles of Niagara Falls today," Reich said.

Weather observations from the Niagara Falls airport reported mostly sunny skies all day, and no thunderstorms were observed on Doppler radar.

The Buffalo National Weather Service office has been inundated with calls since the lightning story was released by the Canadian prime minister's office Thursday evening.

Reich told WEWS Chief Meteorologist Mark Johnson in Cleveland during a live phone conversation, "It was definitely not Mother Nature that caused this one."

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