Homes damaged, people and animals injured in aftermath of tornadoes

(WIVB) — Two tornados that hit Western New York Wednesday tore roofs off of local homes, ripped trees from the ground and injured both people and animals as they swept through the area.

Forestville resident Bill Richter watched the scene unfold from his front porch.

“The wind picked up, which I was kind of expecting, but then all of a sudden it just exploded,” Richter said. “I looked up and maybe 100 feet from me I thought, ‘holy s***, that’s a tornado!'”

Betty and Jim Koszuta said they could just feel the storm as they ran into their West Falls home to seek shelter.

They have been living in their home on Mills Road for nearly 30 years and had never seen anything like it. From the safety of their basement, they could hear debris flying around their home. Luckily, no one was injured.

“It sounded like a tractor-trailer coming … you could actually hear it coming and Jim said, ‘we better get in the house,’ so we just ran in the house when we felt it come through,” Betty said. “We actually could feel it in the house.”

As of 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, the town of Eden remains under a State of Emergency as local people work with crews to get rid of debris from trees and barns. One barn on Eden Road was completely caved in while pieces of a nearby silo were strung out on nearby powerlines.

Multiple Eden barns were at a “total loss”, according to Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, and animals were injured as a result.

In Arkwright in Chautauqua County, a portion of the roof blew off of a local family’s home. Installation poked out of holes in the exposed wood and littered the ground.

“The end of that house is a 30-foot-tall wall and that’s pretty much blown in,” said Brandon Mead, the son of the owners of the damaged home. “There’s a vertical beam that goes up that wall, that’s broke right in half.”

Minor injuries were reported as a result of the severe weather. One elderly woman in Chautauqua County was injured when her car was hit by a fallen tree. She was transported to a local hospital and is expected to be okay. Another person was hurt in their residence but did not seek treatment.

At its peak, the storm caused over 25,000 power outages in Western New York.

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