Tornado touches down, traps homeowners

Workers with the National Weather Service say a tornado touched down in the area of Old State Road and Blueberry Lane.

An early afternoon storm pounded parts of Otsego County.

Workers with the National Weather Service were on scene analyzing the damage. They say a tornado touched down in the area of Old State Road and Blueberry Lane. Preliminary measurements point to at least an EF-1 tornado touching down, reaching wind speeds of 100 miles per hour.

According to Jon Deming, the Otsego County Emergency Manager, the tornado was in the area at about 2:30 p.m.. The storm blew through the area knocking down trees and power lines.

Residents say they heard what sounded like a train rolling through the area and saw debris from the heavy winds and took shelter.

"It got real dark, and then all of a sudden I heard a roar and trees just started falling," said Steve Pongracz. "It looked like a dark funnel cloud. You could see the wind, the spin."

About 25 homes were impacted by the power outage. About 12 houses had structural damage from the storm.


It's amazing that there wasn't more structure damage to my house when you see the trees that are all around it

," said John Niskanen



It sounded like branches falling, but when I open


the door and looked out there were trees all over the property.


As of 6 p.m, five people were trapped in their homes due to trees blocking their exit.


They've got some trees on them

," said Deming. "W

e have to get back in there with our tree crews and start taking some of the stuff off the houses so they can get out


They were no injuries reported. Power was shut off around 5 p.m. Crews are cutting down trees to help get them out.

The Salvation Army is on scene providing relief for both residents and emergency crews.

Old State Road opened around 6:45 p.m. Sections of Blueberry Lane will remain closed.