SMITHFIELD, N.Y. - Madison County Sheriff's Office is reporting four people died and four homes have been destroyed in building collapses as a result of Tuesday’s severe storm.
Heavy rain and strong winds came through the western New York area knocking down trees, power lines, and damaging homes.
The National Weather Service has confirmed that a tornado struck down in that area, and it was an F2 rating. Officials said the wind speeds reached 100-125 mph.
Officials say that the winds were so bad, that it carried a home 150 yards off its foundation. Luckily, no one was inside at the time.
One tornado victim says he found major damage to his home on Goff Road. The lifelong Smithfield resident's garage was destroyed, and his boat was thrown more than 50 yards. Inside the home, the installation is exposed with glass shattered throughout the home.
"I was down at the bottom of the hill. My wife was in the house and we started to come up of course, and the car wouldn't move and stuff because of the wind. We were sliding sideways and stuff and then I come up to the house and I seen this here and I went in of course, and checked things out," said tornado victim Raymond Hoag.
Unfortunately, four people have died as a result of the storm, including a four-month old baby. Those who died were three generations of one, single family. Four homes were also completely destroyed.
The Madison County Undersheriff called the situation devastating.
"The impacts started very early last night with the infant. That took a toll on everybody that was here. The fire service and EMS were just miraculous in getting what they did accomplish in such a short period of time,” said Undersheriff John Ball.
Authorities have since let family members back onto the site to gather whatever they can. Officials say it'll take them at least a day before they start removing the debris.
More than 60 people were involved in search efforts on Tuesday night. The Sheriff’s Office used police dogs to search for any additional victim for survivors.
Governor Andrew Cuomo surveyed the damage on Wednesday morning. He said that it looked like a bomb went off in the homes.
Cuomo also stated that New York has been seeing a pattern of extreme weather and it will continue to be a challenge for the government, first responders, and residents.
“Houses we can replace, buildings we can replace, but when you lose a four-month-old baby, when you lose a family, there's no damage like that,” he said.
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