Donations to help recovery efforts from tornado in Western

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TOWN OF WESTERN — In the wake of a devastating tornado and several thunderstorms in the Town of Western, two local companies are making sizable donations to the volunteer fire department and library.

On the evening of July 8, a class EF1 tornado tore through Main Street and Route 46 in Western, tearing down trees and powers lines and damaging homes and other buildings. Less than two weeks later, another thunderstorm brought even more damage and flooding to Western.

With clean-up efforts still underway, Kris-Tech Wire, of Rome, and Northland Communications, of Holland Patent have stepped up with large donations to help the Town of Western recover. Kris-Tech is donating $5,000 to the Western Volunteer Fire Department, and Northland is donating $2,500 to both the fire department and the Westernville Library.

The money was donated at the Western Fire Department on Route 46 Thursday afternoon.

“The quaint town of Western was dramatically struck by a tornado just recently, and our line crew was out here in a flash,” said Maureen McCarthy Tracy, vice president of community and connections for Northland.

The Northland linemen were on hand in the immediate wake of the tornado to get communications networks back up and running in the town, officials said.

“We just felt it was important to make a financial donation from our family,” McCarthy Tracy stated. The donations were made by the Jeremiah O. McCarthy Foundation, a former president of Northland.

Wendy Calabrese, with Kris-Tech CARES, said the company sets aside one dollar in donations for every 1,000 pounds of wire they make. The CARES Team looked through multiple donation options this quarter and settled on the Town of Western.

“It’s right in our backyard. We have a lot of employees that live and work in the area,” Calabrese said. “We want to help them.”

Also among the donations on Thursday was $200 from a private citizen in Utica who still wanted to help. His check was passed along by Oneida County Sheriff Robert M. Maciol.

Western Fire Chief Michael Anania accepted the checks on behalf of the fire department.

“It’s overwhelming, the community and the support,” Anania stated.

The chief said they have not decided how to spend the money just yet, but they are considering planting new trees or finding a way to celebrate the volunteers throughout the community who helped with clean up.

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