‘It was like the Wizard of Oz.’ Roscoe couple lucky to be alive after tornado wrecked farm

The tornado hit a farm owned by Catherine Stine-Chumley and her husband Norris Chumley just after 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

News 12 Staff

Apr 24, 2023, 9:29 PM

Updated 390 days ago

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The Roscoe community is working together to help their neighbors recover from an EF-2 tornado that touched down over the weekend.
The neighborhood on Hahn Road, outside of Callicoon, seems to have been hit the hardest.
The tornado hit a farm owned by Catherine Stine-Chumley and her husband Norris Chumley just after 6:30 p.m. Saturday.
A tree went through the roof of their home, the barn where they were going to park their cars was blown away and their riding lawn mower was tossed in the air.
"It was like the Wizard of Oz, with a flying roof,” says Stine-Chumley
She says the most stressful part was trying to save some of her artwork from her studio.
"I moved a lot of my paintings around to avoid water damage. The whole floor was filled with water yesterday," she says.
Sullivan County Fire Coordinator John Hauschild says at least two homes and two businesses were damaged. The Apple Grove Farm and Energy Education Center lost two barns and a truss tower.
Hauschild says neighbors are helping first-responders with recovery efforts.
"The best part of this whole thing is that there were no injuries and no loss of life,” he says. "When you live in a small, rural area, everybody comes together to help in times of emergency. It was good to see."
After learning the tornado's winds peaked at 115 mph and it got as wide as 300 yards, Norris Chumley says he feels lucky.
"We saw the tornado come through. We witnessed it. We saw the entire barn collapse. Had we come out about three or four seconds earlier, we'd be dead,” he says.
Local officials say it could be a couple more days before the neighborhood is back in full working order.
The Chumleys say an estimate of the property damage totals $1 million, and they're working with their insurance company trying to get it covered.


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