WAPPINGERS FALLS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The National Weather Service said Thursday a tornado touched down in Dutchess County Wednesday night.
The National Weather Service said it was an EF1 tornado that hit Wappingers Falls at 7:14 p.m., with an estimated maximum wind speed of 100 mph. The NWS said the tornado traveled for about 1.25 miles. They called it a “brief touchdown.”
Residents are cleaning up the storm damage left behind.
Powerful wind gusts teared through the Village apartments off Maloney Road, knocking over trees, damaging buildings and stopping just short of tearing down a wall of a unit.
“The wind came,” resident George Vanamburgh told CBS2’s Janelle Burrell. “We were like, wow!”
“We’re lucky the one wall that came down here was a double wall or else they would have major structural repairs,” said fire inspector Mark Liebermann.
Residents snapped photos of what appeared to be a funnel cloud forming. While on the ground, some neighborhoods got heavy hail as that cloud charged further up Maloney Road taking with it whatever was in its path.
The storm chewed through a shed on one property. Cindy Murphy recorded it on her cellphone.
“Just got in, turned around, looked, and then yeah, the tree hit the house. The glass window hit my truck and then the roof blew off the shed,” Murphy said. “And airplane wings went sailing in the air, because he had wings of an old airplane in there.”
On Thursday, only some shelves and just one wall of the shed remain standing. The storm also sent a tree crashing through the home’s sun room and steps away in the front yard, another massive tree snapped at its base.
“I’m very, very lucky to be alive,” Murphy added.
Jennifer Kennedy lives across the street on a horse farm.
“Trees were just coming down, a telephone pole here snapped in half,” she said. “It was freaky.”
Her daughter, who was home alone, called her panicked when she saw the funnel cloud headed her way.
“I told her relax, it’s not a big deal,” Kennedy said. “If a horse flies by go to the bathroom.”
At 92 years old, Hugh Ross told CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock it could have been worse, even after he showed his crushed sun porch. The force of spiraling winds ripped off nearly a half of a towering tree and threw it sideways into the glass. Shattered remnants still covered the floor.
“Fortunately, the main house is still secure,” he said.
Residents down the road in Poughkeepsie at the Village Crest apartments said hail as large as golf balls battered the windows before the tornado hit.
“All of a sudden, you just heard things flying all over the place,” one woman said.
“She said to me, ‘mom, you can’t go anywhere, be careful, duck down. Don’t go near a window, duck down,” another added. “I was afraid it was going to break the glass.”
There were no reports of that happening, but the mailbox was ripped from the ground.
“It was outrageous,” one man said.
No injuries were reported but hundreds of customers lost power in Dutchess and Ulster counties Wednesday night. Most have had their power restored.
“It’s amazing it’s what Mother Nature can do,” said resident Christa Coates. “I’m just glad everybody’s safe.”