EF3 tornado confirmed in Lewis County

Published: Aug. 8, 2023 at 8:14 PM EDT
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LEWIS COUNTY, New York (WWNY) - The National Weather Service in Buffalo confirms that a powerful EF3 tornado carved a 16-mile path of destruction through parts of Lewis County Monday evening.

An EF3 tornado is the third most powerful tornado on the Enhanced Fujita Scale.

According to the NWS, the tornado touched down at 7:42 p.m. in the town of Lewis and ended at 8:14 p.m. in the town of Turin.

Its peak wind speed was an estimated 140 miles per hour. Its maximum width was 700 yards.

The following is from the National Weather Service:

Initial damage occurred in the town of Lewis to the west of West Leyden along Mud Lake Road that included uprooted and snapped hardwood trees, significant damage to two homes that included roof uplift and near total removal, a wall blowout of a garage, and the complete destruction and shift from the foundation of a barn.

Damage in the initial portion of the track generally peaked at EF2.

The tornado then continued northward and crossed Fish Creek Road with damage to another home that removed the roof and caused significant damage to the walls of the second level of the home. It also did significant damage to a second barn and snapped many hardwood trees.

After moving north of Fish Creek Road, the tornado crossed a large swamp with evidence of full defoliation of a few hardwood trees in the swamp. Tornadic damage becomes less continuous north of this point without good road access to the track through swampy land.

Convergent track damage again resumed well southwest of the town of Turin, hitting the town water tower. It then continued

northward as it paralleled West Road. Continuous uprooting, snapping, and occasional defoliation of hard and softwood trees was evident for a long portion of the track until it reached Snow Ridge Ski Resort.

Upon reaching Snow Ridge Ski Resort, tree damage increased to the snapping of hardwood trees at the root line and some defoliation. On the ski resort land, all of the chair lift metal cables failed, some chair lift structures were overturned or damaged, and the track of damage greatly widened as the storm continued north-northeastward.

The greatest damage of the entire track was from Snow Ridge Ski Resort to the West Wind Motel in Turin. Several structures saw completed roof failures, interior wall failures, window failures, and a one multi-story building was shifted from its foundation with its entire roof removed.

The tornado lifted after affecting the West Wind Motel with damage ceasing from this point. As a result of the survey, the National

Weather Service rates this tornado EF-3 with estimated maximum wind speeds of 140 mph, a track length of approximately 16 miles, and a maximum width of 700 yards.