He went out on the porch to grab it about two minutes before the tree fell.
“I ran to close the windows,” Payes said. “By the time I got upstairs, the floor was covered with water. That was one of those times you say, that was no ordinary storm.”
Meteorologist Andy Nash at the National Weather Service in Burlington said damaging winds, horizontal rain and localized damage are signature signs of a microburst event.
“The storm rolled through, and all along the way, it was pretty strong winds,” he said Wednesday.
“It’s what we call a super cell with a microburst wind coming down from the thunderstorm. It will produce fairly localized damage, and being near the water — Lake Placid in this case — also helped. Where you have the open water, the wind is going to go full steam with nothing really to stop it from producing this kind of damage.”
The National Weather Service charted storm damage in a string of dots from Potsdam — through Lake Clear, Paul Smiths, Saranac Lake and into Lake Placid. Foul weather skipped Irene-torn villages in Jay and Keene, but Willsboro Marina reported one gust of wind hit 100 miles per hour.
Damage was heaviest along the western edge of Mirror Lake, around Signal Hill and on the southern edge of Lake Placid lake.
PUMP HOUSE DAMAGE
Lake Placid Public Works Superintendent Brad Hathaway said fallen trees punched holes in the village’s pump house roof.
“It’s being repaired on Friday,” he said. “Our crews were there until 10 last night, and the Fire Department came and gave us a hand with the new aerial ladder. They were a lot of help. We did as many repairs as we could on Tuesday night.
“Most of the localized damage was to trees from straight line winds. We’re hoping everyone will be patient while we clean up over the next few days.”