Tornadoes Wallop Region
Skywarn Spotters Activated
The Capital Region and Berkshires were rocked by a series of violent storm cells which smashed through the region on Thursday (7/3/97). For those in northeastern Columbia County and the Berkshires this scenario is getting all too familiar, as this was the second time their communities have been hit in just 2 years. This year the traditional July 4th backyard picnics, parades, and fireworks, were put on hold as many found themselves sifting through piles of debris trying to restore services to their towns and villages.
TARA's SKYWARN operation started early on Thursday afternoon on the 145.17 & 444.225 MHz repeaters, continuing into the early evening hours. Throughout this entire operation we were able to assemble nearly 30 stations, covering 4 different counties. It should be noted that Steve, N2PBO, manned the radios at the weather service, gathering first hand information from the affected areas. Steve did an outstanding job keeping all the SKYWARN Nets well informed and deserves a lot of credit for his efforts. Thanks to the advanced tornado warnings from the NWS there were no reported fatalities, even though reports of property damage were extensive.
Local officials knew they had their hands full as this storm raced up out of the Schohaire Valley. Early reports of an over- turned trailer home and several smaller buildings sustaining heavy damage were just the first of many to follow.
The next stop for this line of storms was Albany County, where public officials investigated reports of 2 smaller planes that were completely lifted of the ground and overturned, destroying both planes. Areas of Bethlehem and Selkirk were hit hard causing lots of downed trees and power lines, plus several buildings received heavy damage.
As the storm crossed the Hudson River racing into Southern Rensselaer County, officials there quickly responded to the Stephentown area, surveying storm damage. Rensselaer County Director of Public Safety, David Cook was quoted as saying "The destruction was localized. It wasn't a broad area, but it was really destructive." These remarks came after a much relieved Cook learned that no one was injured as a twister left a mile long path of destruction in Stephentown, downing thousands of trees.
Just over the border in Great Barrington, village folks were preparing for a festive weekend, construction workers made final repairs to their historic fairground buildings. This celebration was short lived, as 2 workers were hospitalized after a lightning bolt struck the ground near them. Both were admitted to area hospitals and they're recovering. These same buildings were the ones which got hit with an F4 tornado in late May 1995.
One of these supercells caused tornado touchdowns and microbursts from Berkshire County, well into Franklin County Massachusetts, plus Chesire and Hillsborough counties of southern New Hampshire. There were reports of tornado touchdowns in Richmond, Monterey and Otis, Massachusetts.
Throughout the evening hours this large storm continued to move eastwards through Massachussetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire before it eventually died out.
Looking back at the amount of destruction that occurred during this storm it's incredible that there were no fatalities. The expedient manner in which our members gathered storm related information for NWS was very impressive to say the least. All in all, this was another very successful SKYWARN Net.
Congratulations to all , for a job well done!
The following stations participated: K2ZP, N2VGK, N2TJQ, KB2UKV, KB2ZZC, N2PEK, KB2UBX, KB2WVO, N2YNP, N2LBZ, KB2KFV, KB2JZI, KB2YPH, N2PBO, N2PDI, KA2VEK, KE2XF, KA2WRH, WB3HDJ, KA2JKA, KB2VXF, WB2VXF, N2SQY, KB2LSQ, WB2MRX, NB2Q, N2UID, KB2VQT, NY2U, and N2LUD
On July 15th TARA's repeater system was again placed into SKYWARN operation. This storm hit hardest in the areas of Guilderland, Cohoes, North Troy and areas of Saratoga County. Ken, N2RXO, reported very intense lightning and trees down in Cohoes. It was also brought to the net's attention by Ken of an unconfirmed report of a young bicyclist struck by lightning up on the Columbia Street section of Cohoes.
The following stations participated:KB2SPM, KB2WVO, KB2HWL, KB2UKV, N2XMO, KB2KFV, K2ZP, N2UIF, KB2NAV, KF2MT, KE2XF, WA1KKM, N2UID, N2YNP, KB2SRI, KB2VQT, N2PDI, KB2UKW, KB2VQS, KB2UUC, N2VGK, N2RXO, KB2TJQ, and NY2U