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Snapped Trees, Buckets of Hail: Weather Service Confirms NY County Tornado



A tornado touched town in a New York county late Wednesday, as isolated-yet-intense thunderstorms slammed pockets of the state with flooding rains and intense winds, the National Weather Service revealed Saturday.

The storms left tens of thousands of customers in Ulster County without power and prompted a state of emergency order from Gov. Kathy Hochul until Friday morning. At least 12,000 were without power the next morning.

The NWS confirmed an EF-1 tornado with 90 mph peak winds, striking two miles west of Kingston just before 9 p.m. Storm surveyors blamed the tornado for uprooting and snapping trees, displacing a car canopy and ripping shingles from the sides of homes.

The tornado, they said, touched down between Davis Street and Hillside Drive near Route 29.

More than 14,000 customers were without power after the isolated-but-intense storms hit parts of Dutchess and ulster counties in New York.


The severe storms spared the city and targeted northern parts of the tri-state, dumping buckets of hail in Ulster County that piled up quickly — almost looking like mounds of snow. There were a number of felled trees across Dutchess and Ulster counties, with the city of Kingston appearing to have faced the brunt of the harsh weather.

“With severe thunderstorms last night causing extensive damage, including tree limbs down, roadways blocked, and power outages, I am declaring a State of Emergency in Ulster County,” Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan said Thursday.

The state of emergency limited vehicular traffic on Ulster County roads, especially in Kingston, Hurley, Marbletown, Esopus and Ulster to essential service and emergency vehicles until 8 a.m. on Friday.

Ulster County Executive Patrick Ryan said that residents of one town some were still reeling from a major ice storm back in February.

“With the financial pressure everybody’s feeling right now, to have this on-top is just a lot, so we are doing everything we can to try to help,” Ryan said. He added that at least 90 percent of customers who lost power are expected to have electricity back by late Thursday night, while others will have to wait for poles and power lines to be restored.

In addition to the hail, the rain was reportedly so torrential at moments, that visibility was near zero as the storms passed. Several streets were left flooded at least temporarily after dealing with the deluge of rain. Powerful wind gusts also rocked the area, with gusts as strong as 51 mph reported in Rhinebeck.

One man drove his recently purchased new pickup truck home from work late Wednesday night, only for it to get crushed by a fallen tree shortly after he got home.


Latest Forecast From Storm Team 4

After pleasant, albeit hotter than average, weather for the rest of the week, the next chance for showers and storms for much of the region returns Sunday night into Monday, and could even last into Tuesday.

Source: NBC New York

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