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Tornado touched down in Western NY, NWS says

JAVA, N.Y. (WIVB) – An EF-2 tornado with wind speeds up to 115 mph touched down Thursday morning in Wyoming County, the National Weather Service said in its preliminary report. No injures were reported.

The NWS believes the tornado was on the ground for 15 minutes after touching down in Java, just south of the intersection of Route 78 and Chaffee Road. It had a maximum estimated width of 200 yards and a track length of 10 miles, running on an east-north path to just north of Gainesville.

The tornado touched down at approximately 10:40 a.m. A tornado warning issued for the area expired at 11:15 a.m.

“To repeat, a tornado is on the ground,” the NWS said in an alert at 10:53 a.m. “TAKE COVER NOW!”

The storm collapsed a barn in Java, with the NWS stating that a portion of the structure was thrown 20 to 30 yards away.

Route 78 remained closed between Chaffee Road and Route 36 for much of the day due to downed trees.

Tornados are graded on a scale between EF-0 and EF-5, with 5 being the most severe.

An EF-2 tornado is rare in Western New York. According to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle’s database of New York state tornados, the last EF-2 tornado in the area was the 2017 tornado near the Hamburg Fairgrounds. Before that, there hadn’t been one since 2011.

Thursday’s tornado was the second of the year in Western New York. An EF-0 twister was recorded in Genesee County in April.

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