Columbia, Rensselaer County storm damage blamed on straight-line winds up to 100 mph

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Storms on Tuesday evening caused significant and widespread damage in parts of Columbia and Rensselaer counties. Now the National Weather Service says it was caused by straight-line winds of up to 100 miles per hour, and not a tornado.

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Before the official determination was released on Wednesday afternoon, National Weather Service Warning Coordination Meteorologist Stephen DiRienzo spoke with NewsChannel 13 as he was surveying the damage.

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“There are pockets of very intense damage. Most of the trees have fallen in the same direction, and most of the trees damaged are the same type of tree. They seem to have uprooted the locust trees, from what people are telling me. I talked to a couple of people who said it was like blinding rain and wind for a number of minutes and some hail mixed in with it,” said DiRienzo. “It seemed like all the damage was in the same direction, so it seemed like it was straight-line winds from the large thunderstorm that went through the area last night, and that storm was responsible for the damage that occurred.”

Many residents remained without power into Wednesday – a very hot day.

There were reports of many toppled trees – with house, barn and power line damage reported.

NewsChannel 13 saw repair crews on Route 9J in Stuyvesant, working to clean up large branches, and clear debris from pavement, so utility crews can come in and restore power.