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National Weather Service confirms tornado touched down in Duanesburg on Thursday

Tornado damage to a motel in the Duanesburg area of Schenectady county.
Tornado damage to a motel in the Duanesburg area of Schenectady county.
Photo by Brent McGrady, used with permission

The National Weather Service survey team has confirmed that a tornado did touch down and cause the extensive damage in Schenectady County’s rural town of Duanesburg on Thursday afternoon.

The storm, a powerful supercell, moved through western Schenectady and northwestern Albany counties between 3:30 and 4:30 in the afternoon damaging homes and businesses, taking down trees and power lines, and blocking major roadways with debris. No injuries have been reported.

“It’s varied at EF0 to EF1 so far, it could be stronger than that at other points, that’s why we go along the entire path to determine that,” said Steve DiLorenzo, of the NWS Albany. “Depending upon how many roads it crossed and how rural and how hard it is to get to places, often times roads are closed because of trees down, sometimes it can take three days,” said DiLorenzo. “We don’t have any air equipment ourselves. The state has to be the one to do a fly over, but I don’t know, it’s up to them if they chose to do it. Because it crossed a lot of roads we can get an idea of what the path was from the ground. But the best way to see the path is from the air.”

Crews will continue to assess the entire area today to determine the beginning and end points of the tornado touchdown. A preliminary report is still expected later this afternoon, but there is no word on a time frame of when the full survey will be completed.

Just last year, on Memorial Day weekend, two separate tornadoes touched down in the Capital Region, one in Montgomery and Schenectady counties and a second in Schoharie county.