Mobile Command Center assists Erie County residents impacted by tornadoes

HAMBURG, N.Y. (WIVB) — It’s been a couple weeks since 4 tornadoes ripped through Western New York but several residents are still cleaning up the mess, and trying to figure out how the damage is going to be paid for.

“A lot of people have some questions. Some people that didn’t understand their coverage or don’t understand why their neighbors may be taken care of and their home isn’t,” said Sean Crotty, Town of Hamburg Emergency Manager.

The State Department of Financial Aervices set up a mobile command center in Hamburg to point residents impacted by last month’s tornadoes in the right direction.

“My vehicle was a total loss from broken glass and debris,” said Theodore Marty of Hamburg.

“There was about an acres worth of tall hardwood trees that now is not there,” said Don Meissner of West Falls.

The Town of Hamburg Emergency Manager says depending on the insurance plan, most of the time damage to property is covered by homeowners insurance. But that’s not the case for damage liked downed trees around the property.

“The financial obligation of cleaning up a large parcel of land with many many trees that runs upwards of $10,000 and it’s an unexpected expense,” said Crotty.

That means several residents like Don Meissner, will have to clean up downed trees by his home and pay for it himself.

The state is not offering any financial assistance to homeowners for private property.

“The guy that cleared our land when he built the house I had him come out to take a look, he quoted $25,000 to $35,000 to have the trees hauled out of there and cleaned up,” said Meissner.

“Most people have coverage for one thing or another but again it goes back to if there was no damage to their structure,” said Crotty.

More information is available on the New York State Department of Financial Services website at provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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