Storm topples tree, traps three in van

A tree is split in two following a storm that roared through Broadalbin Wednesday. A couple had just left the house in the background and got into a van in the driveway when it started to rain. The tree split in two and the broken trunk of the tree fell onto the van, trapping them. (The Leader-Herald/Jim Cornell)

BROADALBIN — A strong thunderstorm that rolled through Fulton County Wednesday caused heavy damage in the village, toppling trees, pulling down wires and trapping one familyin their van when a tree crushed the rear of the vehicle they were waiting the storm out in.

At approximately 4:20 p.m. several calls came in to the Fulton County Dispatch Center with what the National Weather Service called a “downburst” throughout parts of the county, according to a news release.

There were several wires and trees reported down with one incident in which a tree fell on a van at 45 First Ave., trapping three individuals inside the van.

Broadalbin-Kennyetto Volunteer Fire Chief Scot Hall said one large tree crushed the rear half of the van. He said the fire company, along with the village Department of Public Works, had the three individuals out fairly quickly. He said no one was injured.

“There were a number of trees and powerlines down all throughout the village,” Hall said. “We had about 20 calls.”

He said there were also multiple trees on houses.

Trees and wires down throughout the village included: one large limb down across First Avenue that blocked traffic; a tree went down across Saratoga Avenue blocking traffic; at 14 Meadow St. a tree fell on a house; at 38 North St. a tree fell on a home; at 357 Lakeview Road there was a tree down in the yard; a tree fell at the corner of Meadow Street and Thompson Street blocking traffic and caused the area to lose power; a limb went down on North Main Street by the cemetery blocking traffic; at Second Avenue a tree went down blocking traffic; and at the home of Gordon Cornell on Meadow Street a large tree fell on the home narrowly missing his barn, but landing on a snowmobile trailer.

The town of Mayfield also had reports of trees and wires down. According to the release, Broadalbin and Mayfield were hit the hardest by the storm. There is no known damage to any of the homes in the Mayfield area.

National Grid reported approximately 380 customers without power and had power restored at around 11:45 p.m. Wednesday.

“Anytime there is a storm like this, stay indoors, stay away from windows, go to a cellar if you have one,” Hall said. “Stay away from power lines or trees that are down.”

By Josh Bovee

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