The National Weather Service issued a revised statement late Wednesday afternoon, saying that a tornado did in fact touch down in Oneida County on Tuesday.
According to the statement, the tornado is confirmed to have landed seven miles west-northwest of Rome, in or near near Verona Mills. The tornado, which landed around 4:20 p.m., registered an "EF-1" on the Enhanced Fujita scale. The estimated maximum wind speed was 100 miles per hour, with a path length of 200 yards and a path width of 65 yards.
We do not know if this tornado is responsible for the damage discovered in and around the city.
The NWS had said earlier Wednesday that its preliminary investigation did not show that a tornado touched down in Rome yesterday. The NWS had issued a bulletin saying much of the damage was caused by straight line winds.
The storm that hit the west side of Rome left a trail of fallen trees and debris in it's path. The storm cut a narrow path though neighborhoods close to Route 49 and many residents say it will be days before all the fallen debris will be cleaned up.
Several neighbors said they believed it was a tornado and described watching the trees twist in the air. Others said that for a very brief time, everything around there house went dark and they heard a noise like a freight train.
Jannetta Avery said her family only had moments to get inside before the visibility dropped and the trees started twisting.
"It came so quick so fast and it was harsh - really harsh," said Avery.
The National Weather Service confirmed late Wednesday afternoon that a tornado touched down west of Rome. Avery thought it felt like a tornado - and she would know. Nine years ago a crew from CNYCentral was at her family's farm next door after a tornado hit. Having seen two tornados in ten years, Avery said three would not be a charm.
"I think this is enough - we don't need any more!"
Wednesday morning update:
The National Weather Service plans to send a team to Central New York today to investigate reports of a possible tornado touching down.
A trained weather observer tells CNY Central a tornado touched down in the Rome area Tuesday. Again, that has not yet been confirmed by the National Weather Service. We should know later this morning exactly where they plan to send their team.
The severe storm cut a powerful path through Rome Tuesday with some homes completely untouched and others with fallen trees stacked on top of each other.
CNY Central will keep you up to date with the latest information from the National Weather Service throughout the day.
A trained spotter for the national weather service says a tornado touched down in Rome around 4:25pm on Tuesday. Several areas west of Rome had extensive storm damage and some homes along Rt. 49 had multiple trees down.
Edith Sutton said she saw the sky go dark and heard a noise like a freight train for a short period of time. When she went outside, at least a dozen trees were down on her property and some had narrowly missed her RV. The storm cut a line of damage through western Rome and fire crews were still working to clear some roads Tuesday night.
Several National Grid crews were working to get power back on for hundreds of customers in the Rome area.