With an EF2 rating and winds estimated at 125 mph, a tornado caused an estimated $12 million in damages to areas near Mayville and Randolph on July 24, 2010.
The immediate aftermath of the tornado included several safety crews and volunteers cleaning up debris and securing structures to protect homes and businesses. The cleanup took days and the effects of the storm, for some, lasted almost a year.
Now, two years later, how do business owners look back on the devastating storm?
The new Landmark Chevrolet building in Randolph. The business had a portion of its roof torn off during the July 24, 2010, tornado. The business renovated its building after the tornado.
P-J photo by Dennis Phillips
Steve Elliott, Chautauqua Point Golf Course owner, is thankful the tornado didn't destroy his lakeside golf course, even though it dismantled his collection of golf carts.
"The tornado knocked down a telephone pole and oil from the transformer fell on the golf carts and caught on fire, which led to the golf carts starting to explode," Elliott said about the most dire aspect of the storm striking his business.
Elliott said the tornado came so quickly, all his family and friends could do was get down and start to pray.
"It was scary. Everything happened so fast," he said. "It was hard to know what was going on. We were just on the floor, hoping."
Elliott said he was lucky when it comes to the storm affecting his business, which is located in Dewittville. Outside of destroying his golf carts, no other damage was significant.
"We were really lucky. The golf cart supplier I work with in Pittsburgh brought them right up in two days," he said.
"We reopened the next day," Elliott continued. "It didn't hurt the golf course at all. We never really closed the course, except for that day.''
Elliot said he was still working on paperwork with the insurance company six months after the tornado. He said Chautauqua Point Golf Course had a storm damage claim just under $175,000.
In Randolph, the storm ripped off a large portion of the roof at Landmark Chevrolet, which caused significant damage to the car dealership's offices.
''With the roof being off, the storm with the tornado, caused as much water damage as there was wind damage,'' said Brent Doolittle, Landmark Chevrolet business partner. ''It moved the front of the building out. It screwed up the furnace because the chimney was destroyed when it lifted the roof off.''
However, as one might imagine, a lot of the damage done to a car dealership was with its merchandise. Doolittle said approximately 70 new and used vehicles were damaged during the tornado.
''Every car and truck on the lot was damaged,'' he said. ''Some to the point of being totaled.''
Doolittle said they were still dealing with the effects of the storm seven months later, with renovations done to fix the building. The storm caused Landmark Chevrolet approximately $500,000 in damages.
''What the storm didn't damage, we redid to keep up with the new parts of the building that were affected by the storm,'' he said. ''We pretty much revamped everything.''
Doolittle said the most important lesson he learned from the natural disaster was to be prepared for the unexpected.
''Make sure you have good insurance at all times. You never know what is going to happen,'' he said. ''Even if it is your last dollar, keep the insurance.''
Doolittle said one positive aspect from the incident was the show of support from the community.
''We were all impressed with how the whole town got together and started cleaning up immediately,'' he said. ''We had people on the lot Saturday night and Sunday cleaning debris and roping off areas where it was dangerous. The whole town came out, hustling to clean up.''
3 Seas Recreation in Mayville also had damage from the tornado. However, just like in Randolph, Tom Anzalone said community volunteers and friends were right on the scene after the storm to lend a helping hand.
''We had so many friends that pitched in and helped,'' he said. ''They wouldn't let us into the building at first because of the electric lines being down around the building, but once National Grid got them off, at like 2 in the morning, we were able to clean up. By the next morning, our place was picked up.''
Anzalone said the tornado peeled off part of the business's roof, but was fixed right away so there wasn't much water damage. He said by the time the highway was reopened a couple days later, after debris was removed, his business was ready for customers.
''There were no long-term issues at all for us,'' he said. ''The storm zoomed through and made a mess. It was exciting, but it really didn't make an impact on us financially.''