HAMBURG, N.Y. (WIVB) — Tree removal crews spent all day Thursday cleaning up the damage an EF2 tornado left behind in Hamburg. Homeowners were also picking up the pieces in their neighborhoods.
On Marie Drive in Hamburg the damage was extensive.
Raymond Dziedzic recounted the frightening moments before the tornado touched down in his backyard.
“All of a sudden it got dark and one after another I heard the trees fall bang, bang in the kitchen, and then bang in the back.”
Dziedzic walked out of his home unharmed, but was faced with a crippling reality. Three large oak trees had fallen on top of his house.
“I was in the kitchen right where the middle tree fell, but it fell in such a way that the kitchen protected me. My guardian angel and God were on my side,” said Dziedzic.
Branches and leaves protruded through his master bedroom ceiling, crushing his home of 33 years.
“It’s heartbreaking. This was a house that was filled with love and filled with family,” said Dziedzic.
Tree removal crews worked around the clock to remove most of the trees. Dziedzic is working with his insurance company and waiting on inspectors to asses the damage.
In the meantime, Dziedzic will be searching for alternative housing since his home is no longer safe to stay in.
About 400 feet down the road lies the Erie County Fairgrounds. A roofer saw the tornado first hand.
“All the debris from the track was hitting the side pelting everything, it happened in a matter of seconds,” said Seth Ferington, Salem’s Roofing.
Crews have 19 days to clean up the damage before the 12 day fair. Workers could be seen removing trees, shattered glass, busted picnic tables and a torn grand stand roof.
“It just completely tore the roof we just got done putting on completely off. It was probably one of the most scariest experiences of my life,” said Ferington.
Officials told News 4 clean up at the fairgrounds will take another three to four days. They are confident opening day for the fair will go on as planned.