Though the Smithfield tornado was the strongest spawned in Central New York Tuesday, the National Weather Service ruled a total of four tornadoes touched down in our viewing area that evening.
Separate smaller tornadoes hit the Oneida County communities of New London and Deerfield. Another tornado skipped from the ground to the clouds along a ten-mile-long path through Lowville in Lewis County.
According to National Weather Service teams sent to survey the damage, the smaller tornadoes all measured an EF-1 on the scale used to measure their strength, with wind speeds less than 110 miles-per-hour.
A team from the National Weather Service based in Binghamton was sent to New London and Deerfield to scope out the debris and assess where it landed to determine the strength of the storms.
It found the New London storm caused minor damage to a house, damaged a pavilion, and uprooted trees along its one-mile long path just five miles to the west of Rome. Damage was consistent with wind speeds of about 80 to 90 miles per hour.
The National Weather service examined snapped trees and reviewed video of a funnel cloud taken outside of the Deerfield fire station to rule it was also a tornado that trekked just to the south of Utica through Deerfield. Winds were estimated at somewhere between 65 and 110 miles-per-hour in this storm.
Fifty-five miles to the north, the National Weather Service based out of Buffalo sent a team to survey damage in Lowville.
Investigators determined a tornado initially touched down near the corner of Gardner and Eagle Factory Road, and though they tracked the path for about ten miles, they say it was not on the ground for that whole time.
In all, the tornado damaged about 12 buildings, packing winds between 95 and 100 miles-per-hour.
Without a doubt, the Smithfield tornado was the strongest to strike. It carved a two-and-a-half mile long path through the town that lies between Syracuse and Utica. Four people were killed when it slammed into homes along Goff Road.
The National Weather Service is still trying to figure out just how strong the Smithfield tornado was.
Preliminary reports indicate winds swirled at speeds well over 100 miles per hour, measuring at least an EF-2 on the scale used to measure tornadoes.
(Information from the National Weather Service was used in this report.)