Tornado Damages 18 Condos in Western New York

July 26, 2010

A tornado tore through western New York on Saturday, ripping the roof off a condominium and damaging 17 others and causing widespread power outages.

The National Weather Service said the twister touched down in Mayville in Chautauqua County at 4:48 p.m.

Chief Don Emhardt of the Dewittville Volunteer Fire Co. said the twister damaged some 18 condo units in a complex overlooking Chautauqua Lake as well as a nearby golf course.

Jim and Mary Conway of Shaker Heights, Ohio, were in their vacation condo when the tornado tore the roof off and part of the walls.

“I jumped up and all of a sudden the windows were breaking, glass was everywhere and rain was hitting us,” said Mary Conway.

Matt Munson was in the clubhouse of the Chautauqua Point Golf Club and saw the twister approaching.

“Three seconds later you hear, ‘Bang, bang, bang,” as plastic chairs from the course struck the clubhouse, Munson said.

Munson said the tornado struck a vacant restaurant on the golf course property, scattering its pink insulation.

“It looked like a pink tornado going across the field,” he said.

There were no reports of injuries. A National Grid spokesman said the storm left 12,500 homes without power.

Emhardt said he was amazed that no one was injured.

“Everyone walked out of here without a scratch,” he said.

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