Local News

July 19, 2012

Fierce winds bowl through Lake Placid

LAKE PLACID — A super-cell string of thunderstorms tore through Lake Placid Tuesday, bearing winds that reached 70 to 80 miles per hour.

Upended maples and white and red pine trees lay in piles in areas along Mirror Lake and Lake Placid lake in the Olympic village; as they fell, they tore up shoreline and, in some cases, crunched lakefront rooflines.

“The cloud was purple,” said contractor Jeff Brownell of Johns Brook Remodeling in Lake Placid, describing the storm’s arrival just past 4 p.m. Tuesday.

He and a crew helped clear intact trees that had been ripped out of the ground beside a lakefront home owned by Denise Bujold.

Next door, six giant red pines lay flat like dominos, uprooted entirely on the lawn of a waterfront home owned by Steve Wilson.

None of the trees landed on either house, but others here weren’t so fortunate.


Two families are renting a lakefront house at Breezy Point on the eastern shore of Lake Placid, preparing for Ironman competition on Sunday. Karen Payes and Heidi Powell were home with their children when the storm hit.

“The kids saw the trees swaying wildly, the rain picked up and became a sheet of water blowing sideways,” Payes said.

“All of a sudden we heard a crack, and it just came down.”

The 70-plus-foot red pine was torn up, shoreline earth and all, and fell against the summer home’s porch roof.   

The building is owned by Lake Placid resident John Rosenthal, and Powell said they reported the damage and the giant pine that rested parallel to the neatly mowed lawn. 

No one was injured when the tree came crashing down, a fact both women were grateful for.

“My son got anxious about a ball he had left outside,” Payes said. 

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