Confirmation from the National Weather Service that a tornado touched down at 7:02PM Tuesday night in the Madison County town of Smithfield, which is between Syracuse and Utica. According to the NWS, the tornado's strength put it in the EF-2 category -packing winds of 100 to 125 miles per hour. A tornado, last month, in Verona was rated an EF-1 category storm.
Tuesday's tornado cut a path of destruction about 235 yards wide as it roared through Smithfield, killing four people and leveling five homes. Weather investigators were dispatched to Madison, Oneida, and Onondaga counties for a closer look at the damage.
Early this evening, Madison County Sheriff Allen Riley released the names of the four people killed in Tuesday's twister:
• Four-month-old Paris M. Newman and her mother Kimberly M. Hillard, 35. The two perished in a house on Goff Road.
• Arnie D. Allen, 53, was killed along with his dog when the tornado lifted his home off its foundation. The house came to rest on top of another house.
• Virginia D. Warner, 70, died inside her trailer.
Goveror Andrew Cuomo, who flew into Madison County Wednesday morning, posted this picture of damage from the storm on his Twitter page.
The Central New York Red Cross has set up temporary headquarters in Smithfield to help storm victims with food, shelter, and clothing.
The U.S. Post Office says mail delivery might be slow because of debris from the thunderstorms. If your mailbox was destroyed Tuesday night, officials say put some kind of receptacle outside with your address so mail can still be delivered.