The national weather service is investigating evidence that the storm over Ithaca early this Thursday morning was a tornado.
David Nicosia, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Binghamton, NY, said that a survey team is currently investigating damage from the storm and looking for tornado signatures.
“They’re looking for a swirling signature in the damage,” he said. “If a roof is lifted off a house in what direction relative to the storm path was it blown? You can determine whether it’s a swirling path or a straight line path.”
Thunderstorms rolled through Ithaca Wednesday night and early Saturday morning. The first storm lasted from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m., and the second storm, which contained the possible tornado, hit Ithaca between 1:30 and 2 a.m. Between and 1 and 1 ½ inches of rain fell during the storm according to Nicosia.
Four or five homes have reported major structural damage in the towns of Ithaca and Danby and 460 homes were without power this morning according to New York State Electric and Gas Co.
No flooding was reported in Tompkins County, but there was flooding to the north in Cayuga County and to the southeast in Chenango and Broome counties. Water rescues were reported in Tioga County.
Nicosia said that their investigating the storm will help in future forecasting.
“It helps us for the future when we issue more warnings, plus it is documentation for natural hazards and insurance purposes,” he said. “You want to know what the probability is that your house gets hit by a tornado or gets hit by strong winds at 80, 90, 100 mph.”