ROME, NY (WSYR-TV) – The National Weather Service confirms a tornado touched down in the Oneida County Town of Western Thursday evening at 7:30 pm. Winds were estimated at 105 mph making it an EF1 tornado.
Touchdown occurred at the Woods Valley Ski Area then tracked through downtown Westernville continuing northeast crossing the Mohawk River before dissipating just east of River Road. The tornado was on the ground for six minutes and travelled just over 2 miles with a maximum width of 100 yards. Several roofs were blown off houses and there was extensive damage to a church steeple.
This was part of a line of showers and storms that tracked across Central New York early in the evening causing heavy rain and frequent lightning for most.
Just past 7:30pm, radar indicated a line of severe storms passing through Oneida County north of Rome. This is what was indicated on the ‘reflectivity’ scan of the radar which shows how heavily the rain was falling.
However, using the velocity scan (which looks at the winds) there was clearly rotation within this storm. Where the green colors are right next to the red is where that rotation was occurring at the time.
Law enforcement is reporting trees and power lines down in Western and a portion of State Route 46 is closed and will be for several hours more overnight according to Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol. He also reported several houses without any roofs due to the storm but luckily, as of now, there were no injuries reported.
Additional reports of trees down came from Alder Creek likely from the same storm.
This area is only a few miles from Lee Center, a town that had a tornado touch down on June 3rd.