It was not a tornado, so what caused serious damage last night?
The National Weather Service spent part of this July 4th holiday looking at damage in Herkimer and Montgomery Counties. Experts now say it was not a tornado that turned trees into matchsticks and plunged thousands into the dark. Instead, it was straight line winds.
The most significant damage happened between 3:55 and 4:35 p.m. Thursday, the National Weather Service says. Top winds were 100 miles per hour and the storm traveled about 30 miles. There were no reports of injuries or deaths.
Here is what the National Weather Service says: "A series of downbursts produced straight line wind damage across portions of southern Herkimer and western Montgomery counties. The damage from these downbursts was discontinuous but spanned a total path length of 30 miles from west to east. While the damage path was sporadic, there were pockets of intense damage in the towns of West Winfield, Jordanville and Minden. The damage was mostly from snapped and uprooted trees along the duration of the path."