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NWS confirms 2 tornados hit Capital Region

This photo of the funnel was taken in Schenectady and posted to the NewsChannel 13 Facebook page. - Danielle Ellison

It’s official. Two tornados hit parts of the Capital Region Wednesday night.

The National Weather Service made the confirmations Thursday after investigating storm damage as well as pictures of the clouds.

They rated the twister that affected Montgomery County to Rotterdam and Schenectady as an EF-2 with maximum winds of 125 miles per hour. The most severe rating is EF-5 with winds over 200 miles per hour. This tornado was one mile wide followed a 17-mile path from Florida in Montgomery County to Rotterdam and Schenectady.

Severe storms tear through Capital Region

Lightning and wind were reported to have toppled this pine tree on Guilderland Avenue in Rotterdam. - Dan Levy / WNYT

ROTTERDAM - Many neighborhoods in many Capital Region communities were thrust into complete darkness Wednesday night after a powerful thunderstorm tore through the area, leaving flooded roads, toppled trees and downed electrical wires in its wake.

When the storm passed through Niskayuna just after 7 p.m. it was strong enough to interrupt a Niskayuna School Board meeting and send everyone there scurrying to safety in the basement of the Van Antwerp Middle School.

After the tornado warning had passed, many roadways were flooded or blocked by fallen trees.

Two tall pines fell on Daren Russell's property on Guilderland Avenue in Rotterdam -- one landing on his neighbor's rooftop and the other crushing his car parked in the driveway.

"I was looking out my kitchen window and another tree fell," Russell said. "But life goes on."

Storm causes school delays, closings

Photo: Paul Donahue

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Dozens of schools in the Albany area delayed the start of classes and several closed because of slick driving conditions caused by the storm system that buried parts of the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic.

Capital Region braves frigid cold

ALBANY - The Capital Region is in the deep freeze. Temperatures are in the single digits.

A "code blue" condition has been declared by the city of Albany, meaning police and other support groups are traveling the streets looking for people who need shelter and taking them there.

Shelters in the cities are crowded.

There is a warming station open in Saratoga County at the Galway Emergency Medical Services.

Snow snarls traffic, closes schools in eastern NY

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Snowy road conditions are making for a slow morning commute in the Albany area, where some schools have called off classes or delayed their start by two hours.

The snow that began falling early Wednesday morning has made roads and highways slick, causing southbound traffic backups on the  Northway.

Several school districts in Albany, Schenectady and Rensselaer counties have canceled classes for the day or delayed opening until later Wednesday morning.

The National Weather Service says much of eastern New York will get 1 to 3 inches of snow. A wind advisory has been issued for western New York until 6 p.m. Wednesday, with winds of 15 to 25 mph gusting to 50 mph.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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Schenectady declares state of emergency

SCHENECTADY - The city of Schenectady has declared a state of emergency from noon Monday until noon Wednesday.

Residents are being advised to stay away from downed trees and power lines. Notify the city immediately of any downed tree or lines so crews may address them.

Residents are asked to maintain a water and non-perishable food supply for three days.

Residents are being asked to not use candles as a source of light, run generators in a well ventilated area, and do not park cars underneath trees whenever possible.

To report downed trees or power lines, please call 518-382-5263.