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Crews praised for emergency actions after tornado

Johnstown Fire Chief Bruce Heberer gives a report to the Johnstown Common Council Monday night at City Hall. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

JOHNSTOWN — City emergency crews were praised Monday night for the way an August tornado in the city was handled.

During city Fire Chief Bruce Heberer’s monthly report to the Common Council at City Hall, Second Ward Councilwoman Kathi Iannotti praised local authorities.

“I just want to thank you, chief, and all of you who had to do with the tornando,” Iannotti said.

A tornado struck the city of Johnstown on Aug. 21.

The National Weather Service confirmed that the weather event that occurred in the city during a severe storm that afternoon was a tornado. A category EF1 tornado had touched down in Johnstown at approximately 2:24 p.m., the weather service said. The path of damage from the tornado started at Earl Road and continued across Route 29 before crossing O’Neil Avenue and proceeding onto Pleasant Avenue before ending on or near Irving Street.

The path of the tornado was estimated to span 150 yards wide while producing winds at a maximum speed of 85 mph. The tornado traveled roughly half a mile causing minor damage to homes tearing off roof shingles, destroying multiple sheds and pulling down several trees. No injuries were reported as a result of the tornado.

Heberer also extended thanks to the Johnstown Police Department in the aftermath of the tornado.

“We were running all over the place,” the fire chief said.

But Heberer said operations at all Johnstown government facilities went handled well during the storm, “chugging along.”

Elsewhere in his fire report, Heberer said city firefighters in August took part in hazardous materials incident training. Paramedic training also took place last month.

The fire department in August handled 206 calls for service, including three structure fires and 142 emergency medical calls.

Codes personnel at the department in August issued 63 permits worth construction projects value topping $645,000. Over $2,000 in building permit fees were collected during August, Heberer reported.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.

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