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Tornado leaves path of destruction at a family’s property

“It was just like this big, huge boom"
Posted at 5:53 PM, Jul 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-17 17:53:58-04

PORTLAND, NY (WKBW) — “It sounded like something slammed into the side of the house,” described Tiffany Marczynski, resident, town of Portland.

The National Weather Service confirmed Friday that an EF-1 tornado touched down in the Chautauqua County town of Portland early Thursday evening.

The tornado was spawned by severe thunderstorms that rolled into the region late Thursday afternoon.

A tornado ripped through this barn in the town of Portland.

“It was just like this big, huge boom and I thought the whole house was going to fly away,” Marczynski recalls.

Marczynski says it all all feels like a bad dream as she looks out and assesses the destruction the tornado caused to her barn and property.

There is debris scattered across her land with piles of wood and metal everywhere.

Piles of debris from tornado.

Marczynski lives in her home on Barnes Road with her boyfriend and two-year-old son. But Thursday, she was alone with her son when severe rain and thunder storms rolled through. She said she had no warning of a tornado approaching.

“But there was nothing that said ‘take shelter’ and there's a tornado coming — that didn't happen,” explained Marczynski.

Marczynski grabbed her son and headed for the basement as two windows blew out of her home.

Tiffany Marczynski's barn and property torn up by Thursday's twister.

“It was terrible. It was so loud and it was like and the wind just hit the side of the house and it sounded like a freight train hit the side of my house,” Marczynski declared.

But Marcyznski says she's thankful that she wasn't in the barn at that moment with her young son.

“I just have to be really thankful that no one was injured. I didn't loss my horses. I didn't los my dogs. I didn’t loss my kid. I’m still alive. We are going to be okay,” Marczynski reflected.

And while she did lose a baby goose and a couple of ducks, her horses escaped the barn and are now taking refuge on her neighbor’s property across the road.

"It was scary and I could believe this happened,” remarked Brittany Peterson, neighbor.

Tiffany Marczynski's barn and property torn up by Thursday's twister.

Peterson stopped Friday afternoon to by to tell Marcyznski support to help her in the clean up is growing on Facebook. Peterson says says the community is very supportive.

“Oh yeah — community's go to stay together — if you don’t stay together. what are you going to do? You're going to fall apart,” Peterson said.

Peterson offered Marcyznski a helping hand, saying she would be willing to come back and help her begin to clean up.

Marcyznski described the twister as something like The Wizard of Oz and the movie Twister.

“Oh it was loud — it was so loud. It was a like a thunder boom,” Marcyznski replied.

Now Marcyznski is trying to figure out how she will rebuild.