Elmira tornado disrupts hospital services, spares churches - Catholic Courier

Elmira tornado disrupts hospital services, spares churches

A rare tornado in Elmira on July 26 caused minor damage to St. Joseph’s Hospital but spared area Catholic churches.

The National Weather Service confirmed that an EF1 tornado, with winds of up to 110 miles per hour, touched down at approximately 4 p.m. and traveled a 10-mile path that included much of downtown Elmira. The storm, which also featured torrential rains, knocked down many trees and power lines, rendering roads unusable and more than a dozen houses uninhabitable. A state of emergency for Chemung County was subsequently declared by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and many parts of the county were without power for up to a couple of days. A curfew was enacted the night of July 26, and the American Red Cross set up a shelter for displaced residents while emergency personnel from numerous communities participated in the cleanup effort.

The storm was among three EF1 tornadoes reported by the National Weather Service in the Southern Tier that day. The other two twisters hit south of Corning just prior to the Elmira tornado and were comparatively short-lived.

No injuries or fatalities were reported from any of the tornadoes, but some offices and services on the St. Joseph’s Hospital campus were closed July 27 due to storm damage.

David Quinn, director of finance and administration for Elmira’s parishes, said all of the city’s six Catholic churches escaped damage and that Sunday Mass schedules were unaffected. Quinn noted that the rectory on Fairmont Road housing Father Scott Kubinski, pastor of Christ the Redeemer Parish, suffered damage to a screen door and an outdoor light due to a falling tree.

Tags: Chemung County News, Natural Disasters
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