Storm causes flooding, damage
A storm brought lightning strikes, flooding and possible tornadoes to Fulton and Montgomery counties Thursday afternoon, knocking down trees and power lines and causing other damage throughout the region.
National Weather Service meteorologist Joe Villani said there were unconfirmed reports of tornadoes along with 1 to 2 inches of rain, hail and strong wind.
No injuries from the storm – which began around 5 p.m. in Gloversville – were immediately reported.
As of 7 p.m., National Grid reported around 3,600 customers were without power in Fulton County, including 1,800 in Caroga. About 450 customers were without power in Montgomery County as of 7 p.m., including about 430 in the town of Minden.
In Gloversville, water washed down East Fulton and South Main streets, sending trash, sticks, rocks and mud down the road.
During the storm, firefighters extinguished a house fire on Temple Street in Gloversville. It was unclear Thursday evening whether the fire was related to the storm.
Johnstown City Fire Department Assistant Chief Rich Danelorich reported there had been a minor fire at the Johnstown Price Chopper from a lightning strike around 5 p.m. The building was evacuated, but was reopened once the fire was under control. No injuries or severe damage were reported.
Villani said no major storms were expected overnight, but rain was expected to continue through the evening.
Montgomery County Emergency Management Director Jeffrey Smith said in an email Minden and St. Johnsville experienced significant damage from thunderstorms and a possible tornado. There were reports of a barn collapse and a tractor-trailer being blown onto a highway, he said. There also were reports of trees and wires down at many locations.
Smith said there was a report of a roof being blown off a Minden home.
Smith said fire crews, law enforcement, highway crews, National Grid and emergency management officials were assessing damage and working on cleanup.
No injuries were reported.
The Fort Plain 4th on the 3rd celebration was canceled soon after it began. Smith advised guests to seek shelter around 4:30 p.m.
During the storm, a fire erupted at a house at 14 Temple St., severely damaging the structure.
Officials Thursday evening did not yet know if the fire was related to the storm.
No one was injured in the fire, said Battalion Chief Tom Groff.
The Fire Department reported the fire collapsed the top floor of the house.
Groff reported some difficulty in putting out the fire because of manpower shortages as firefighters were out on multiple calls.
As of 7:20 p.m., fire crews were still inside the home.
“Basically, our duty crew was by itself for a long time,” Groff said.
The Temple Street home was the only confirmed fire.
Groff was not sure when the fire started, but estimated it began 15 to 20 minutes into the storm.
Groff could not say whether the house was hit by lightning, causing the fire.
“We do not know. We are going to have to look into it,” Groff said.