Possible tornado does damage, close calls reported
Some say microburst, some say straight-line winds, others say it was a tornado, but one thing that is sure is that something hit East Potter Avenue like a sledgehammer Sunday night.
A storm cell struck with incredible force about 6 p.m. Sunday.
No injuries were reported, but damage ranging from knocked down fences to broken and uprooted trees and even destroyed crops were reported Monday along Granview Drive, East Potter Avenue and on across the border past Liebig’s Strawberries.
Witnesses said the storm went from light drizzle rain to a heavy downpour with quarter-sized hailstones and powerful gusting winds back to a drizzle in a matter of minutes leaving behind a wake of devastation residents were still cleaning up Monday afternoon.
Close calls with the isolated storm, one of several which crisscrossed the county during the day, were widespread.
Stephanie Munger said she had just stepped into a Button Falls Road residence for a matter of moments when the storm went through.
Munger said she had been inside for about three minutes when the storm ripped the top of a nearby tree off and dropped it onto her new red Prius.
The car suffered heavy damage with multiple dents and a number of windows shattered. A dog left in the car was unharmed, but understandably shaken by the close call.
“We found her on the floor under the steering wheel, shaking and covered in glass,” Munger said.
At Liebig’s just across the street Richard McCullen said he had just closed the farm’s stand for the night and was heading across the road on a golf cart when the skies opened up on him.
“By the time I made it into the garage it was quarter-sized hailstones,” he said. McCullen said he thought the storm might have lasted as much as 10 minutes and then blew away as if nothing at all happened.
However, a lot had happened in a short time Sunday.
Iva Liebig said she wasn’t at home when the storm blew through and standing in front of her home she still couldn’t believe the damage.
She estimated some 60 trees were damaged or destroyed, including trees that took out the deck on her pond, a treasured place for family gatherings, as well as some major power lines along the back of her property.
“I just can’t believe it,” she said.
Liebig reported losing seven acres of sweet corn which was just reaching maturity, as well as other vegetables for the farm stand.
Hook & Ladder Fire Chief Dan McClenning said his unfinished story-and-a-half garage behind his Granview Drive home was picked up in the air, flipped over and smashed to the ground.
The fire chief said he had never experienced a storm quite so powerful that he could see across his backyard. “I’ve never seen a whiteout like that,” he said.
Down the street the wall to a garage at 2 Granview Drive bulged out from the side of a residence.
A knock at the door went unanswered, but neighbors said the door had been open at the time of the storm.
Residents in nearby Pawlet reported their power was out for more than 10 hours Sunday into Monday.