Tornado shuts down Walton’s South River Road

Firefighters respond to numerous calls


WALTON - A tornado that impacted Walton Sunday, Sept. 25, left numerous homes without electricity, trees down, roads closed, and Walton firefighters moving from one incident to another from approximately 5:30 until just after 11 p.m., according to Walton Fire Chief Frank Wood.

The first call came in at 5:31 p.m., for a tree down on state Route 10 south, just outside the village line, followed quickly by a second call for a tree down on state Route 206, at the bottom of Bear Spring Mountain.

A third call came within minutes of a tree down on South River Road, just outside the village near the Walton Industrial Park. 

He received notification at 5:47 p.m. from Delaware County 911 of a possible tornado touch down in the area of Walke’s Garage on state Route 10 south. 

En route to the location, Wood said, he discovered numerous downed trees and debris in the roadway, and observed a portion of the roof had been ripped off Shaw Automotive, also on state Route 10. The wind, “peeled back some of the roofing material and scattered it about,” Wood said.

Following that call, firefighters received a fifth call reporting trees blocking the roadway on Walton Mountain, near the intersection of Bobs Brook Road. “We also had crews on South River Road with live power lines down, making it impassable,” Wood said of the intensity of the storm.

At that point, he said, they closed South River Road at both ends, and requested mutual aid from Trout Creek to cover the Walton station. However, Trout Creek was diverted to respond from the upper side of Walton Mountain, and Wood requested Delhi mutual aid to stand by the Walton station.

A sixth call was received, this time of power lines down on South River Road and reports of large amounts of smoke. “We had Delhi en route to our station, and I had them respond to that (smoke and wires down on South River Road) call,” Wood said. To complicate things, they also received a call that someone had stopped at the Walton Police Department to report a structure fire at an unknown location, Wood reported.

“It turned out not to be a structure fire,” Wood said. Instead, it was the live wires burning and producing a large amount of smoke.

The town of Walton highway department assisted firefighters with heavy equipment to remove trees. Hancock firefighters were called in to assist Walton with chain saws and manpower, Wood said.

Following response from NYSEG firefighters opened a path on Walton Mountain for emergency access to allow crews to work. 

Masonville firefighters were dispatched to cover Trout Creek; and Sidney was on automatic mutual aid for Masonville.

South River Road was reopened for emergency access between 10:15 and 10:30 p.m., Sunday night, and remains closed to through traffic.

All departments were back in service at 11:10 p.m. Sunday night, Wood said.

Walton Mountain Road is passable, Wood reported, and the town highway department will have “major” clean up over the next couple of days. 

Representatives of the National Weather Center were in Walton on Monday, Sept. 26 and determined after examining the damage, that an E-F1 tornado had touched down.

“From Walton Mountain to South River Road, there was an extreme line of damage,” Wood summarized.

There were no reported injuries, Wood said, and thanked neighboring fire department for assisting Walton. “We were the only ones in the county to have damage from this storm,” he said.


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