Tornado touches down in Broadalbin

Mike Furman stands by a tree that was split apart by a tornado Friday afternoon behind his house at 2186 County Highway 107 in Broadalbin. (The Leader-Herald/Eric Retzlaff)

BROADALBIN — “It sounded like a freight train going through,” Edward Gundersen of 2176 County Highway 107 said as an EF2 tornado touched down behind nearby 2170 on the highway shortly before 4 p.m. Friday with winds possibly up to 90 mph.

“It passed our house—you could see the funnel,” said Stanley Korona, who lives on County Highway 107. “My wife saw tin flying, and she went into hiding after that.”

Amber and Ryan Furman, both 8 years old, took shelter in the bathroom of their home at 2180 Highway 107.

Bob and Carol Baird, who live next door, but were in Cape Cod, got a call from their daughter, Ann Furman. “She was hysterical,” Bob recalled.

It happened suddenly and seemed to last a minute or less, the residents said.

No one was injured, but “widespread damage to structures, trees, fencing and yard furniture” occurred along Highway 107, according to a news release from Steven J. Santa Maria, the county civil defense director and fire coordinator.

The Broadalbin Volunteer Fire Company got their first call at 4 p.m. By about 9:30 p.m., the National Weather Service determined that the tornado touched down behind 2170 Highway 107 and traveled eastward about a quarter mile on a path about 50 yards wide with an estimated maximum speed of 90 mph.

Saturday morning, Mike Furman of 2186 Highway 107 pointed out how the twister had ripped apart a multi-trunk tree in his backyard, as if the tree were split with a huge hammer.

A garage owned by the Bairds, which contained trucks and antique cars, was damaged.

Across an alley at 2176 Highway 107, Gundersen surveyed the damage on his property—an evergreen tree uprooted and on its side.

He pointed out a tree next door, at 2170, which had caught the top of his neighbor’s flying carport like a baseball glove and prevented it from landing on his property.

Santa Maria also reported the following damage: the complete destruction of a 40 X 60-foot pole barn, a metal roof and overhead garage doors blown out of a second structure, peeling siding off homes, toppling and tossing several trees and destruction of lawn furniture, a trampoline and fencing.

Although the Highway 107 corridor got a direct hit, other areas suffered damage from high winds and heavy rain. A tree was knocked down in pieces at Kingsboro Park in Gloversville surrounding the statue of Elisha Yale, a 19th century educator and pastor, but both the statue and the nearby World War II memorials apparently escaped damage. The city fire department responded to calls involving trees and wires down, mainly in the northwest section of the community, and low-level street flooding also as reported, Santa Maria stated.

The Meco Fire Department responded to several power poles damaged and wires down on West Bush Road. Most of Meco and Bleecker remained without power until early Saturday morning, Santa Barbara said.

By Patricia Older

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