Clean-up continues in Orchard Park with days, weeks ahead

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) — Three tornadoes in a matter of hours tore through the Southtowns and Southern Tier Thursday, and in spite of the damage experienced in their wake, residents in Orchard Park still consider themselves very lucky. But there were a number of close calls. 

Although the tree that once provided shade to his house now lying on his garage roof, the remnants of what used to be a shed scatter through his woods and the days if not weeks of work ahead, Jeff Eimer considers himself very lucky. 

That’s because while the damage outside is extensive, the inside of his house was spared. But it almost wasn’t. 
“The stuff that’s wrapped around these trees is the metal roof,” Eimer said. “So it’s probably a good thing the trees were here, otherwise we probably would’ve had some very serious issues.”

Jeff was outside when the sky turned black, and he knew something was coming, so he rushed into the house. 

“My wife was running around saying we got to get in the basement, we got to get in the basement,” he said. “And she tried to open the basement door, she couldn’t budget, it was too much pressure.”
“It lasted only about 90 seconds, and then we came outside and this is what we got,” he said

About 10 minutes before the tornado blew through and a half mile away from Jeff’s house, Roland Neuffer saw the same. He knew it was time to leave. 

NEWS 4 AT 5:

“I got extensive cleanup in damage,” Neuffer said. “I’d like to try to salvage the building, but I’m guessing it might cost more to salvage it then it’s worth.”

The tornado peeled the roof from Neuffer’s garage, which once held a large boat and new pickup. Now it holds a lot of air, and piles of soggy memories. But there will be a lot of assistance from the people who helped make them,” Neuffer said.
“The friends and the family, and all of them are intact, so I got to count my blessings,” he said. “This’ll set you back, but it could’ve been worse.”

The outpouring of support for residents in Orchard Park and surrounding communities from friends and family is overwhelming. People were upbeat Friday in spite of all the work that’s ahead of them. And though tornadoes may be rare, they said this is yet another storm they will weather. 

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