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Powerful wind rips roof off barn on South East Street in Amherst

A South East Street barn lost half its roof to a powerful gust of wind from Hurricane Sandy Monday night, leaving a large pile of metal strewn about the yard and in the nearby road.

Nobody was hurt in the incident and South East Street was closed only briefly. Clean up crews equipped with a bucket loader arrived shortly before 7 p.m. and pushed a sheet of metal to the side of the road, opening the way for traffic. But the potential for danger remained. Two sheets of metal dangled high in a tree beside the road while a heap of roof lay nearby in the residence’s yard. A hedge along the roadway appeared to have blocked much of the debris from making it to the street.

Sophie Craze, the barn’s owner, said she was at her 1420 South East St. home around 6:30 p.m. when she heard a large noise from outside.

“It was pretty scary,” she said. “It just flew from the roof. If we’d been standing there we’d been smashed.”

There are no animals housed in the barn, she said. The metal roof was installed three years ago on top of the building’s old roof, she said. She estimated the barn to be 60 feet long by 48 feet in wide. The barn has a peaked roof. Its entire north side had been shorn away, leaving structure’s old roof exposed to the elements.

“I’m hoping the other side stays,” Craze said.


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