July 3rd, 1999
During the evening hours on July 3rd, severe
thunderstorms developed across parts of the western Southern Tier of New
york. While three eye-witnesses reported seeing funnels, it was determined
by a Weather Service Storm Survey that the damage done was the result of
downburst thunderstorm winds.
The damage began in Springville in southern
Erie County where several large trees were downed. The thunderstorm continued
moving east southeast across parts of Yorkshire, Delevan and Freedom. Numerous
large trees were downed along the damage path. In Yorkshire, a large equipment
shed was blown apart. In Delevan, a large barn and two concrete silos were
destroyed while another barn and chicken coop also sustained damage. At
the Freedom Speedway, several large steel bleachers were moved and overturned,
light poles bent over and a cinder block building was moved off its foundation.
The eye-witnesses reported seeing the funnels
toward the end of the damage path. Witnesses also reported hail stones
of 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches in diameter.
The actual damage path was about a mile
wide and nearly five miles in length. Winds were estimated at 90 to 100
mph. There were no known injuries as a result of the storm.
Photos taken during the Storm Survey
7/4/99. Click on the thumbnail to view larger image.
In Yorkshire, this equipment shed
was blown away from the barn it has been added to. The roof of the shed
can be seen lying against the silo and garage.
In Delevan, several large trees were
blown over. Notice how the trees are all lying in the same direction...a
sign of downburst winds.
In Delevan, a portion of a barn was
The entire western portion of this
barn was blown away.
The silo next to the barn also sustained
major damage. The silo was 50 feet tall before the storm struck.
At the Freedom Speedway in Freedom,
this 25 foot section of bleachers was blown over by the winds.