tornado | WAMC


Storm over Montgomery, NY August 27, 2020
Courtesy of the Town of Montgomery

The National Weather Service has confirmed tornadoes hit in Orange County, New York and New Haven County, Connecticut on Thursday.

Storm over Montgomery, NY August 27, 2020
Courtesy of the Town of Montgomery

National Weather Service teams are headed out to parts of the WAMC listening area to determine if any tornadoes touched down Thursday. Though power outages and damage were not as widespread as from Tropical Storm Isaias in early August, there were intense pockets.

NWS: A brief tornado hit the Wilton, New York area in Saratoga County during the evening of May 15, 2020. The tornado touched down near the intersection of Nichols Road and Woodard Road and tracked east for about two miles.
National Weather Service

Utility crews spent the weekend restoring power to customers in and around Wilton, New York after the National Weather Service confirmed a tornado touched down there Friday evening. The storm caused widespread damage at a time when most people are trying not to leave home. For more on the tornado, WAMC’s Ian Pickus spoke today with Brian Frugis of the National Weather Service in Albany.

Sam Anderson is an award-winning staff writer for The New York Times Magazine - formerly a book critic for the same. He lives in Beacon, New York. His first book, “Boom Town: The Fantastical Saga of Oklahoma City, its Chaotic Founding... its Purloined Basketball Team, and the Dream of Becoming a World-class Metropolis” was released this summer.

“Boom Town” hops around the fascinating story of Oklahoma’s capital city, which is like zooming in on a sped up story of America with everything that entails: dream attainment and major success for some; land ownership; enormous civic pride perhaps only outmatched by civic confusion; power-struggles; architecture that goes up too fast; solid and stately buildings that get knocked down too soon in the name of progress; the unfortunate truths that generate the necessity for an inspiring civil rights movement; extreme weather, sports, rock and roll, and terror.

Oklahoma City also boasts more than a few events that could safely be called uniquely its own, with one example being: Operation Bongo. In 1964, the Federal Aviation Administration used various aircraft to generate sonic booms over OKC to test their effect on structures and public attitude. The public attitude was, largely: “Quit it with the sonic booms.”

Anderson was sent to OKC by The New York Times Magazine to write a splashy feature on the city's NBA team, The Thunder. Luckily for readers, he made a major connection to the place and with the people who live there.

A tornado
Wikimedia Commons/Daphne Zaras

Several tornadoes touched down as storms rolled through the metropolitan New York City area this week.

United Way Thanks Community For Newburgh Donations

Jun 11, 2018
Courtesy of Central Hudson

United Way is thanking the community after receiving nearly $22,000 in donations to help Newburgh following a deadly tornado in May.

NWS Confirms Tornadoes Hit The Hudson Valley

May 17, 2018
Courtesy of the office of NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo

The National Weather Service has confirmed four tornadoes touched down during thunderstorms that pounded the Hudson Valley Tuesday, on both sides of the river.


   State officials led by Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito visited the town of Conway Monday to see firsthand the damage caused by Saturday’s freak February tornado, and to assure residents the state will help the small town rebuild.


Cleanup and damage assessment continues in the western Massachusetts town of Conway where a tornado touched down over the weekend.

EF-1 Tornado Hits Conway, Massachusetts

Feb 27, 2017
Facebook: U.S. National Weather Service

At a time of the year when snowstorms, freezing rain and sleet are the main concerns for weather forecasters, a tornado touched down Saturday evening in western Massachusetts as a potent squall line moved through the region, pushing out un-usually warm conditions in favor of winter cold. 


        The National Weather Service confirmed a tornado touched down in western Massachusetts over the weekend. 

         It is the first recorded February tornado in Massachusetts since official record keeping started in 1950.  

          WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Christopher Besse, the spokesman for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.


The city is offering financial support to owners of historic buildings damaged in the 2011 tornado that tore through western Massachusetts.

For the past two days, our region has received a flurry of severe thunderstorm and even tornado warnings and watches. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, there are 1,300 tornados in the United States on average each year. Summer is here, and with it the likelihood you'll hear WAMC broadcast a tornado watch or warning. Experts are urging people to take the warnings seriously.


Repairs are being made to the steeple of the Old First Church in Springfield, Massachusetts. It is part of an ongoing effort to restore one of the oldest church buildings in New England.

A crane was moved into position Wednesday and a fence erected to keep pedestrians away while the final work is done on the exterior of the steeple to repair damage caused by the 2011 tornado. Mayor Domenic Sarno said Old First Church is a significant part of Springfield’s history and the restoration will ensure it figures in the city’s future.

Confirmed EF2 Tornado Kills 4, Damages Homes In Central New York

Jul 9, 2014

  The National Weather Service has confirmed that a tornado destroyed homes and property in central New York, and killed four people.

Violent winds Tuesday clocked in at least 100 miles per hour in the Madison county town of Smithfield, between Syracuse and Utica, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Barbara Watson. 

"It's going to be at least an EF2," Watson said. 

National Weather Service Says Severe Weather To Continue In Northeast

Jul 9, 2014

There are reports of fatalities in the wake of a line of storms, including a confirmed EF2 tornado, that moved through western and central New York Tuesday night, bringing heavy rain and strong winds that knocked down trees, power lines and several buildings. 


A city park seriously damaged by the June 1, 2011 tornado that hit Springfield reopened today after a nearly $1 million improvement project.

City and state officials joined with residents of the Sixteen Acres neighborhood to praise the Camp Wilder Park renovations. Mayor Domenic Sarno said the park is an “urban oasis” in an area that had been ripped to shreds three years ago by the tornado.

" I almost had a tear in my eye coming in here today. To think of all the debris that was here and now look at this magnificent park. But, we always had a can-do attitude."


Sunday marks the third anniversary of the most powerful storm to strike Massachusetts in a half-century, an EF-3 rated tornado that killed three people, injured dozens more, and damaged or destroyed 2,000 buildings between Springfield and Sturbridge.  Rebuilding in the city of Springfield has been aided by about $100 million in federal and state funds.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Daily Gazette photographer Pat Dodson was heading back to the Capital Region following President Obama’s visit to central New York yesterday when news broke that a tornado touched down in Schenectady County. Dodson spoke with WAMC about what the newspaper termed on its front page today “the path of destruction.”

Severe Weather: The Before And After

May 23, 2014
Lucas Willard / WAMC

WAMC's David Guistina discusses the possible tornado in Schenectady County with Meteorologist Paul Caiano.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

The National Weather Service says spotters have reported apparent tornado damage with trees and power lines down down and a home destroyed as severe thunderstorms packing high winds and large hail moved eastward through rural Schenectady and Albany counties.


A Catholic high school in Springfield, Massachusetts that was severely damaged by the 2011 tornado will be replaced with the help of federal funds.  Rebuilding Cathedral High School is seen as a key step to completing the city’s recovery from the natural disaster.


The Federal Emergency Management Agency has agreed to pay Springfield, Massachusetts $25 million for the destruction of public property by the 2011 tornado.  It is a final settlement that city officials worked relentlessly to obtain.


Officials with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development have approved plans by the city of Springfield, Massachusetts to spend $13 million on redeveloping an impoverished area of the city damaged by June 1,2011 tornado. 

Damaged and blighted buildings will be torn down, streets and sidewalks repaved, new houses built, a park and other public properties improved in Maple High-Six Corners, a low income neighborhood still struggling to recover from the historic 2011 storm.

City of Springfield

In the two years since a tornado tore through Springfield, Massachusetts a volunteer effort has spearheaded the planting of thousands of new trees.  The work is being done as the U.S. Forest Service conducts a study on the environmental impacts from the loss of the urban tree canopy.

More than 4,400 new trees have been planted in Springfield in the last two years in an effort to restore, largely for later generations, the shade trees that lined streets and filled public parks prior to the June 1, 2011 tornado.


Officials in Springfield, Massachusetts have marked another step forward in the city’s recovery from the tornado that caused extensive damage 26 months ago.

With children singing and bright white, blue, and gold balloons buffeted by a gentle breeze, Square One celebrated the opening of its new center on Main Street in the South End Neighborhood on Wednesday.  It is just two blocks from where the early childhood education organization’s preschool and administrative offices were destroyed when the tornado roared through Springfield on June 1st, 2011.

Officials in Springfield, Massachusetts have produced a plan for spending millions of dollars in federal disaster recovery funds.  It is the latest step in a long road to recovery from the June 1st,2011 tornado.

   Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno outlined at a city hall news conference Wednesday what he called an action plan for spending more than $13 million to build new housing, repair streets and sidewalks, remove blight, construct a new school and refurbish a park in neighborhoods devastated by the worst tornado Massachusetts has experienced in a half-century.

More than two years after a tornado tore through a low-income housing cooperative in Springfield, Massachusetts, the residents of the damaged complex face an uncertain future.  More than two dozen homes remain vacant and condemned and there is the threat of foreclosure by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.


Springfield, Massachusetts continues to rebuild from the tornado that caused extensive damage to the city 25 months ago.  A groundbreaking ceremony was held today to begin construction on a new elementary school to replace one that was rendered unusable by the tornado.


This Saturday, June 1st, marks two years since Massachusetts was hit by the worst tornado the state has experienced in a half-century.  The powerful storm carved a 39 mile long, half-mile wide path through western Massachusetts.  Three people were killed, dozens injured, and more than 1400 buildings damaged or destroyed.  Much of the devastation, but none of the deaths, occurred in the city of Springfield.  WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno as the city prepared to reflect on the 2nd anniversary of the tornado.