Otselic Valley suffers serious damage from destructive Saturday storm

SOUTH OTSELIC – The hamlet of South Otselic was hit by severe winds that toppled trees, tore off roofs and caused severe damage to a number of homes Saturday night.

The Chenango County Emergency Management Office and the Otselic Valley Fire Department responded to the storm’s aftermath, which caused severe damage to at least three buildings and moderate damage to another seven homes.

Emergency Management Officer A. Jones reported Monday that no one was injured in the storm that began around 8:50 p.m. Saturday. Jones said officials suspected a sudden violent burst of high elevation wind called a “microburst” was responsible for the damage.

“All the trees and debris were lying down in the same direction, which would indicate strong straight line winds as a probable cause,” said Jones, adding that no funnel clouds were reported in the area by the National Weather Service.

Jones also pointed out that normally damage from a microburst was confined to one to two mile area and that the most significant damage in Otselic was within those parameters, covering about a half-mile stretch.

Jones said two homes suffered extensive damage, including a bed and breakfast, Broad Lawns B&B, located just south of the local firehouse on State Highway 26 which had a large tree crash through its roof and attic.

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