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Mechanicville tornado: 10 years later

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Albany/HV: Mechanicville tornado: 10 years later
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MECHANICVILLE, N.Y. -- May 31st, 1998. It's not a day Carmine Mastropietro will soon forget. He had just gone inside his house on Viall Avenue for lunch when an F3 Tornado tore a line of destruction through his neighborhood.

"It sounded like a freight train came through, busted the windows and dropped the ceiling and all the bricks inside the kitchen," said Carmine Mastropietro, who was inside the family's house when the twister hit.

"We were out camping, and we got a call from my son and he says, mom, the house is gone. I said what are you talking about. He says a Tornado hit, and took the house away," said Chris Lescarbeau, Mastropietro's Son-in-Law.

Lescarbeau and his wife rushed home. They found that the tornado's path had run right through their house. The twister, packing winds over 158 miles per hour, ripped down Viall and across Routes 4 and 32.

While Mechanicville and Stillwater were the hardest hit, altogether in Saratoga, Rensselaer, and Bennington Counties, the National Weather Service said the tornado caused $70 million in damage. It damaged or destroyed 300 homes, and injured more than 60 people.

"It looked like a nuclear explosion, everything was taken down to the ground," said Lescarbeau

The neighborhoods affected by the storm are mostly back to normal 10 years later. Talk to anyone about that day, they will tell you stories of destruction, but they will also tell you stories of what didn't get destroyed.

Lescarbeau said in their backyard is a statue of the Virgin Mary and it was still standing in the same spot after the storm was over.

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