NWS confirms tornado touched down in Duanesburg

DUANESBURG, N.Y. – Homes, power lines, and trees were all at the mercy of Thursday’s severe storm as a tornado touched down in Schenectady County’s rural town of Duanesburg.

The storm moved through Albany and Schenectady counties between 3:30 and 4:30 in the afternoon.

High winds knocked down trees and power lines while simultaneously damaging cars and homes, and based on radar images a tornado warning was put into effect.

The Duanesburg Ambulance Corps building sustained severe damage during the storm. An entire wall of the structure was pulled down, and siding was peeled off the building. The ambulance vehicles took a hit as well.

A home on Route 20 was completely demolished by the storm. No injuries were reported though little remains of the standing structure.

The National Weather Service has determined that a tornado did touch down in the area, and experts say the tornado peaked at EF3, had a 7-mile path, and was half a mile wide. 

“It’s varied at EF0 to EF1 so far it could be stronger than that at other points that’s why we go along the entire path to determine that,” said Steve DiRienzo, of the NWS Albany.

The NWS has been driving around all morning trying to locate the tornado’s beginning and end points.

“Depending upon how many roads it crossed and how rural and how hard it is to get to places, often times roads are closed because of trees down, sometimes it can take three days,” said DiRienzo.

This is the second tornado in Schenectady County in two years. On May 29, 2013 one touched down in Mariaville.Experts say the EF2 tornado that ripped through Schenectady county in 2013 took three days to survey because so many roads were closed.

“We don’t have any air equipment ourselves. The state has one to do a fly over, but I don’t know, it’s up to them if they chose to do it. Because it crossed a lot of roads we can get an idea of what the path was from the ground. But the best way to see the path is from the air,” said DiRienzo.

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