Update (July 25): More videos and images from the storm have been submitted to The Ithaca Voice, showing the impacts of the brief but intense storm. At this time, there have still been no injuries reported despite the havoc wrought.

The following videos show the chaos of driving during the storm and the wreckage afterwards. The three videos do include obscenities due to the circumstances. They were provided by a reader with permission to publish.

Water overrun in the wake of Monday’s storm. Credit: Photo provided by Bob Riter

Original Story (July 24):

TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y.—A heavy thunderstorm ripped through Tompkins County shortly after 5 p.m. Monday, leaving destroyed and damaged buildings, power outages and reports of flash flooding in the area.

In the wake of the storm that included gusts of winds, the Ithaca Fire Department (IFD) had responded to 35 incidents as of 8:15 p.m., including “trees down on wires, cars, roadways and houses,” according to IFD spokesperson Jim Wheal. Wheal said the department had only responded to one flooding call, on University Avenue near Stewart Avenue, though county officials also reported several more.

“It was clearly the big wind that caused the most damage,” Wheal said of what his department had seen.

No injuries have been reported from the storm at this time.

Public Information Officer Geoff Dunn wrote in a statement that the Tompkins County Emergency Communications Center “has been handling dozens of calls for assistance,” and detailed some of the storm’s specific impacts.

A downed tree in downtown Ithaca. Credit: Casey Martin / The Ithaca Voice

“Residents are urged to use extreme caution as there are several reports of localized flooding with open manholes creating a hazardous situation,” Dunn said. “Avoid flooded roadways, and do not drive around downed power lines and utility poles.”  

In Ithaca, Dunn highlighted the 800 block of Taughannock Boulevard and Cliff Street between the city and Cayuga Medical Center, as well as parts of Stewart Avenue and North Aurora Street that were particularly impacted or experienced flooding, as of 8:30 p.m.

Dunn said places in Varna, Ellis Hollow and Enfield experienced “significant property damage,” and added that structures were destroyed in the area of Hayts and Sheffield Roads.

One picture sent to The Ithaca Voice showed what appeared to be the aftermath of the storm in the 300 block of Hayts Road area.

Significant damage to a building on Hayts Road from a storm that hit the area Monday evening. Credit: Photo provided by Heather Swift Morrison

While claims of a tornado have been circulating online, Dunn said he could not yet confirm that a tornado touched down. He said the National Weather Service will likely determine whether a tornado occurred or not tomorrow.

NYSEG reports that there are 268 households in Tompkins County currently without power, as of 8:45 p.m.

Cascadilla Creek raging Monday evening. Credit: Casey Martin / The Ithaca Voice

This is a developing story. More details will be added as they become available.

Matt Butler is the Editor in Chief of The Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at mbutler@ithacavoice.org.