Large tree branch flattens car, damages homes during Wednesday evening storm in Scotia

A massive tree limb came down on Joe Rizzo's home at 116 6th St. in Scotia Tuesday night in Scotia, seen Wednesday.

A massive tree limb came down on Joe Rizzo's home at 116 6th St. in Scotia Tuesday night in Scotia, seen Wednesday.

SCOTIA – The tail light of a silver sedan in the driveway of 116 6th St. in Scotia could just barely be seen under the large tree branch that had crushed it during a severe thunderstorm Tuesday night. 

More branches lay on a truck just behind the sedan, the windshield cracked and at least one side view mirror missing.

Leaves could also be seen on the roof where the branch came crashing through the back portion of the home there. 

That’s the image Joe Rizzo stared at Wednesday afternoon as he waited outside the home for a tree cutting service to arrive. 

“It took out the whole back of the house,” he said. 

The branch also caused some significant damage to 114 6th St., taking off some of the roof and siding. Another neighbor also received some minor damage, including a scraped car. Neither neighbor could be reached. 

Rizzo’s son Nate Rizzo, and Nate’s wife, Jackie, were both home when the storm hit. Nate Rizzo said he was downstairs around 9 p.m. and his wife was upstairs when they heard a huge crash. 

“It sounded like a freight train was driving into the house,” Nate Rizzo said. “She thought I dropped something.”

Wind gusts reached 60 mph in the storm, National Weather Service meteorologist Mike Evans said Wednesday.

The type of wind gust was “above normal” for a severe thunderstorm, but there are at least a few severe thunderstorms every summer, he said. 

Joe Rizzo said when he heard about the tree he told his son and his wife to leave. Inside the house Wednesday Joe Rizzo pointed to an estimated foot-long crack in the wall near the stairs. The wall had begun bowing. 

In an upstairs room the bed had been moved forward several inches when the tree hit the roof and the trim along the wall had detached. The view outside that window and another was nothing but leaves and smaller branches of the tree. 

Around eight or nine years ago a tornado tore through the area, Rizzo recalled, but since then he’s not experienced anything like what had happened Tuesday evening. 

The village’s interim superintendent for public works, Ryan Kedzior, could not be reached on what other damage occurred because of the storm. Smaller branches and leaves lined some streets in Scotia. Along 6th Street no other home suffered damage. 

Joe Rizzo said he’s staying with a friend until the damage can be repaired. 

“It can be repaired, but it will cost,” he said.

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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