CNY tornado barreled for 2 miles, tearing off roofs and a church steeple (photos)
Western, NY – A tornado with wind speeds of 105 mph traveled more than 2 miles in the Oneida County of Western on Thursday, the National Weather Service said in a detailed report released Friday evening.
The tornado touched down in the Woods Valley Ski area, north of Rome, and stormed northeast into the hamlet of Westernville.
“The tornado caused significant damage along Main Street,” the report said said. “Several roofs were blown off houses and countless trees were uprooted and broken down.”
The tornado then jumped across the Mohawk River, swollen from recent rain, and raced east of River Road, causing crop damage and tearing a shed roof before taking off. The tornado was about 100 meters wide at its widest point, the report said.
No one was injured.
The storm was rated EF-1, the second lowest on the Fujita tornado scale with six categories.
The storm cut the worst path of damage along an 800-foot stretch of Stokes-Westernville Road, which follows Delta Lake’s north shore. Residents ran for cover when their roofs were removed. A woman was trapped in a car when a broken power pole fell on it. A man clung to a gas station pump as the wind pounded him.
“I’ve been in the fire service for 42 years and I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Phil Spoor, wearing his Western Fire Department T-shirt. “This is by far the worst. By far.”
Jean Dunlap, who has lived in her home for nearly 60 years, was huddled with her family in a downstairs room when the storm hit Thursday night.
“We came out of the room and I looked at the sky,” she said. “There would be no air there.”
It is the second tornado in western Oneida County in just over a month. On June 3, an EF-1 tornado destroyed a 100-year-old barn in Lee Center, just a few miles west of Westernville.
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