Sunday, August 14, 2005

Baffling tracks left in Tornado's wake

F1 takes aim at Canisteo
CANISTEO - Reports of tornadoes touching down in Alfred and Canisteo Friday afternoon proved half-right.

A tornado touched down along state Route 36 in Canisteo at about 2:30 p.m. Friday, according to Jim Brewster, Binghamton-based meteorologist for the National Weather Service.

Most of the damage was confined to wooded areas and a cornfield, but Mike and Peggy Stewart of 4418 State Route 36, Canisteo, had significant damage to their property. The Stewart's have a dairy farm, and the high winds whipped a portion of their barn roof onto the hill above the barn.

"I saw enough evidence to confirm an F-1 tornado," Brewster said. "It appears as if it was a tightly wound, brief tornado that was about 100-150 yards in width and ran about a mile.

"It basically ran right along State Route 36," he added. "It came over Bush Hill and dropped down behind a residence. It was pretty much confined in the area between Gravel Run Road and Rock Run Road."

Stewart said the damage to the cornfield looked like crop circles, which Brewster said looked very unusual.

"That was very unique," Brewster said. "There was definitive damage in the storm track, then they had these other strange circular damages to the cornfield.

"You'd see one, then walk through several good rows of corn and you'd see another one," he added. "I've seen a lot of cornfield damage from tornadoes in Nebraska, but this was unique. It looked like there had been multiple spin-ups in the tornado."

Brewster said there have been three confirmed tornadoes in Steuben County since 1950, but said he didn't think there had been one confirmed for quite some time.

"This isn't tornado alley, but it's not completely unusual," he said.

Howell Evening Tribune


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