VIDEO: Severe Storm Causes Extensive Damage in Forestville, NY

Submitted by Justin Gould on Wed, 07/10/2024 - 19:29

FORESTVILLE, NY – A now confirmed EF-1 tornado damaged several homes in northern Chautauqua County on Wednesday afternoon. 

County Executive PJ Wendel described the event as “tornadic activity,” with heavy winds and rain primarily impacting Prospect Road before dissipating into the surrounding wooded areas.

"I believe the findings will confirm what we already suspect," stated Noel Guttman, Chautauqua County Emergency Services Director.

Forestville Fire Department Chief Kyle Barthel reported that at 12:22 p.m. on Wednesday, his department responded to reports of downed trees in the Town of Arkwright.

“Calls came in rapidly, creating a ‘snowball effect,’” he explained, as reports of fallen trees and downed power lines flooded in.

In response, the Forestville Fire Department received support from the Silver Creek and Sheridan Fire Departments, as well as assistance from the Hanover and Arkwright Highway Departments in clearing the roads.

One resident reported that the roof was torn off her house on Prospect Road. Upon arrival, Barthel discovered significant damage to several buildings, including a residence, a barn, and multiple garages. Additionally, four trees were entirely uprooted, and several others were downed.

One individual was transported to a nearby hospital with minor injuries after their vehicle collided with a downed tree. Another resident on Prospect Road sustained minor injuries but declined medical attention.

In addition to several local fire departments and the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office; the Department of Environmental Conservation assisted in cleanup and observation efforts, deploying a drone to survey the damage and determine the storm's exact path.

Reflecting on the incident, Wendel expressed relief that the damage did not result in more serious injuries. 

“Considering the extent of the destruction, it’s surprising there weren’t more significant injuries. By the grace of God, we survived this. I think a few chickens may have perished, but overall, we came out unscathed.”

Chief Barthel praised the community for its resilience and urged anyone in need to contact the Forestville Fire Department at (716) 965-4106. 

“If anyone has issues resulting from the storm that we haven't addressed, please don’t hesitate to call. We will come and check everything out for you,” he assured.

Following today’s severe weather, we encourage everyone to download Chautauqua County Emergency Service's app. You can use the "Damage / Safety Report" feature to submit reports directly to us. This information will help us in our efforts to secure recovery funds.


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