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Two EF-2 Tornadoes Confirmed in Chautauqua County

6:26 PM, Nov 16, 2011   |    comments
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Video: Sunrise Reveals Extent of Storm Damage

Video: Two Confirmed Tornados in Chautauqua County

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Video: WESTFIELD STORM DAMAGE.mov

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  • Storm Damage: Westfield, NY
  • Storm Damage: Westfield, NY
  • Storm Damage: Westfield, NY
  • Storm Damage: Westfield, NY
  • Storm Damage: Westfield, NY
    

WESTFIELD, NY - A team of investigators from the National Weather Service has determined two EF-2 tornadoes touched down in Chautauqua County on Monday.

The National Weather Service says the first tornado touched down in Fredonia at 5:10 p.m. The second touched down a short time later in Westfield.

They, along with officials from the Chautauqua County Emergency Services, announced their findings at a news conference on Tuesday morning, after surveying the storm damage.

In Westfield, parts of barns were completely crushed and debris littered fields. Some metal was even stuck, twisted in tree branches

"We're going to wait until the insurance documents it and everything and then probably in a few days we'll start cleaning up," said Dean Mead, whose barn was damaged.

And it could take longer than that before homeowners in Westfield know if they're eligible for any state or federal assistance.

In Fredonia, clean-up started right after the tornado passed through. And though there were a handful of instances of trees on garages, most of the damage consisted of limbs and branches down and power lines knocked over. The village crews worked all night to begin the clean-up on those.

"I know on one street there were six or seven poles down and within 45 minutes they had power back up and running for the whole village," said Fredonia Mayor Stephen Keefe.

In the end neighbors and local leaders say despite the damage, they're just relieved no one was hurt.

Once all was said and done the NWS had issued 11 tornado warnings Monday evening. Winds in excess of 100 mph did extensive damage across many parts of western New York. Power lines were downed, trees uprooted and at least one structure (a barn in Westfield) was knocked from its foundation.

So far there have been no reports of anyone actually seeing a funnel cloud, but the height of the storm and resulting damage happened after nightfall.

Investigators were looking for signs of rotation in damage paths and debris fields, to determine if it was straight-line winds or actual tornados that left thousands without power and damage scattered across a large portion of the area.

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