Palermo (WSYR-TV) - While some people hit by Tuesday’s powerful storms in Central New York are cleaning up, it’s taken months – not days – for a Palermo couple to recover from a tornado that destroyed their farm last summer.
The Meldrims are putting the finishing touches on their farm. Given its current appearance, an onlooker might not know how badly it was damaged by a tornado that blew through the farm last year.
Buildings that were once flattened are standing tall again, roofs that were blown off are back in place, and the only indicator of the storm is a piece of wood ripped from a building and driven into the ground.
The Meldrims have kept the piece as a reminder of what they’ve been through. Despite the hardships, the Meldrims refuse to feel sorry for themselves.
“Actually, the tornado did a little bit of a favor for us, because we made some changes that we need to make and we wouldn’t have done them otherwise,” said Margaret Meldrim.
“I was building while I Was trying to go to sleep, but we built the lean-to’s before, so I knew what kind of plan I had to go,” said Bruce Meldrim.
The winds were so strong, they tore apart the Meldrims’ barns and ripped pieces off the house. The storm scattered debris around the grounds of the farm, some of it ended up hundreds of feet away.
The Meldrims’ farm was the only home that was destroyed by the tornado that formed over Oswego County. “Just picking on us…just a freaky thing,” Margaret Meldrim said. “We did say ‘Why us, why did this happen to us?’ quite a bit.”
Some of the wood that was blown around by the storm was used in some of the new buildings that the Meldrims have built, but much of it is still in piles, waiting to be used as firewood.
A recent severe storm served a reminder of what the couple went through roughly one year ago.
"It wasn't too long ago we were sitting down in the lean-to when the hail hit and it starting raining hard, the wind really picked up and it was like geez, not again, you know,” said Bruce Meldrim.
The Meldrims say they could not have envisioned the past 13 months, but they still find room to smile about it all. They added that they could not have bounced back from the tornado without the help of their friends, neighbors, and businesses in the area.