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Regional News

Investigators confirm a tornado hit Palermo


By Dave Bullard/WRVO

Palermo, NY – National Weather Service investigators confirm that it was a tornado that did heavy damage to Bruce and Margaret Meldrim's farm on Jackson Rd. in Palermo Monday.

Meterologists Erik Heden, a SUNY Oswego graduate, and Mike Jurowicz, both of the weather service's Binghamton office, visited the farm Tuesday morning.

"We're just trying to reconstruct what happened with the storm, find out which way the damage is pointing," Heden said.

They saw a pile of twisted metal and scattered boards that used to be a shed, a huge hole in a barn roof, a damaged tree and an uprooted tree, all in the area adjacent to the Meldrims' home. In the farm's fields some distance from the home, they found metal cow feeding accessories a long distance from where they should have been.

The tornado picked them up and set them down elsewhere.

They also heard what Margaret Meldrim saw from her kitchen window as the tornado tore through her farm fields and headed for her home.

"I saw the funnel cloud. There was all this well, it wasn't debris yet but my feeders and hay feeders were circling. I couldn't believe it," she said.

The barn that was damaged was directly adjacent to their home, but the home suffered no damage. The Meldrims were not hurt and their livestock survived without significant injuries.

The event left her shaken. "Snow damage, rain damage, hail - -but never a tornado," she said, as tears began to form.

The tornado was classified as an F0 tornado. F0 tornadoes are the lowest level of tornado, packing winds estimated at between 65 and 85 miles an hour.

Since 1950, there have only been 9 tornadoes in Oswego County. All but one has been either an F0 of an F1 tornado. An F3 tornado in 1983 did an estimated quarter million dollars damage.