The Indianpost

Danby officially struck by tornado

The National Weather Service in Binghamton has determined the storm that caused significant damage in the Town of Danby on Thursday was an F1 tornado.
A home anemometer recorded a wind gust of 90.3 mph, according to the weather service.

Lee Shurtleff, Tompkins County director of emergency response, said Friday afternoon that he believes the touchdown at South Hill in the Town of Ithaca was a tornado, but he had not yet heard back directly from the weather service to confirm that.

Monetary damage estimates are still being determined, he said.
The emergency office generally has to come up with a public damage estimate pretty quickly, but in this case, there wasn’t any damage to public infrastructure, he said.

The only public costs involve the response of highway crews, fire departments, law enforcement and any related overtime that for this event were not significant, he said.

In terms of damage to homes and other private property, the state relies on a calculation or estimate through the American Red Cross, Shurtleff said.
“My understanding is the Red Cross did have representatives that were doing a survey of the area, and I have not heard a number that came back,” he said.

The South Central New York Region American Red Cross reported that disaster workers went door-to-door Friday checking on Danby residents on Jersey, Hilltop, Comfort, Danby and Buttermilks roads, where homes and property sustained much damage and disruption when the early-morning tornado went through the area.

Returning Red Cross workers said most homes were damaged by falling trees. One home had about 50 downed trees around the property.
Several roofs had been torn off by the tornado and had major rain damage. Most homes had lost electricity, and one garage was destroyed.

A family of four — two adults and two children, one 3 years old and the other 7 months old — could not access the doorway to their home because it was blocked by a fallen tree, the Red Cross said. Electricity had also been lost.

The Tompkins County Disaster Relief Fund is providing temporary shelter to the family until cleanup can be made and electricity restored, the Red Cross said.

Part of what drives the process is some expectation of a state and/or federal disaster declaration in anticipation of some type of assistance, Shurtleff said.

“In this case with it being wind damage, most people are covered by insurance on their properties, so you don’t have that aspect of uninsured damages to property that only otherwise get addressed through the federal relief,” he said.

Cleanup seemed to be going well, Shurtleff said, noting he had not had any request for resources, which is a gauge he goes by.
Highway crews had roads and driveways opened, and utility crews had power restored in general, other than maybe to select houses where an electrician was needed.

The affected area was limited, he said.
“It’s kind of strange how the storm tracked because there were areas where you’d see partial roofs blown off from houses, yet the electric service into the house was still just as solid as it was before the storm,” Shurtleff said.

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