SMITHFIELD — The National Weather Service has confirmed that a tornado destroyed the homes in upstate New York where four people were killed.
Barbara Watson, the meteorologist leading the agency’s survey team says that the violent winds Tuesday were at least 100 mph and reached undetermined higher speeds to cause the damage they’re seeing in the Madison County town of Smithfield, between Syracuse and Utica.
She said today that one two-story home is gone, the structure blown away and leaving only the foundation.
Madison County Sheriff Allen Riley said killed in the storm were Kimberly Hillard, 35, and her 4-month-old daughter, Paris Newman; Virginia Warner, 70, and Arnie Allen, 53.
He said four homes were destroyed and numerous others were damaged, with Allen’s two-story home blown hundreds of feet before it landed on an unoccupied house.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, visiting the storm-damaged area today, said: “This new normal of extreme weather is a challenge for government, first responders and the people of this state.” He added: “All we can do is offer our prayers and the warm embrace of New Yorkers. The family of New York stands with Madison County.”
Severe thunderstorms packing strong winds swept through a number of Eastern states on Tuesday, killing five people, destroying or damaging numerous houses and leaving nearly 200,000 without power today.