Stories of survival shared after tornado hits Schenectady Co.

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Updated: 5/25 9:44 am
DUANESBURG, N.Y. - As clean up continues following the EF3 tornado that tore through the area on Thursday, many residents are sharing their stories of survival while others are coming out to offer help.  

Trying to rebuild and put the pieces of your life back together after being whipped around by a tornado is staggering. But just making it through the storm, is showing how resilient some people are. 

The EF3 tornado, which had speeds upwards of 170 miles per hour, caught people like Bella Stuart off guard.

“It’s a wonder we didn’t lose the house,” said Stuart.

As the storm barreled down on her home, Stuart said she did everything she could to save her property and others.

“The power was gone, I couldn’t shut the big door, but I ran upstairs got my dog,” she explained.

Stuart said that after grabbed her dog, she ran to seek shelter.

“The we came back down, and it was after that the trees came down,” she said.

Her deck has been crushed by trees, her barn’s roof has been torn away, and her heavy horse trailer was tossed over on its side. 

“It was almost like instant. Between the time I came up to get the dog and went down stairs it was quiet,” Stuart said.

The tornado left a seven mile path of destruction, ripping off a wall from theDuanesburg Volunteer Ambulance Corps. However, only a few days later and people are flooding into the area to help.

“We’ve had people come by the building asking if they can help with the cleanup, what they can do to help us out,” said Peter Brodie, the Captain of Duanesburg Volunteer Ambulance.

The volunteers held a coin drop Friday to raise money for repairs, netting about $8,700, four times as much as compared to a normal fundraiser. 
Lynn Noesen drove to Duanesburg from Wynantskill to donate money and offer help.

“It’s really nice to know somebody that cares, even if it’s just a little donation, it’s better than nothing.  And I think that’s it’s important to give back,” she said.

While the volunteers have a lot of work ahead of them, they haven’t stopped serving the area and saving lives.

“We haven’t missed a beat, we haven’t missed a call,” said Brodie.

As the area rebounds and rebuilds, many are left just thankful no one was seriously hurt or killed.

“Quite an emotional thing, but at least we are alright,” said Stuart. 
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