By Mercedes Manzolillo
NEVERSINK July 25, 2003 On Monday night, a thunderstorm rocked Sullivan County, and the Kortrights off Aden Hill Road in Neversink are sure to remember it.
Apparently, a tornado blew through their Hanofee Road property Monday night and ripped off the roof of their 17th century barn and damaged an antique tractor.
Cliff and Agnes Kortright, who have owned their farm for 53 years, said the barn had been struck by lightning twice in the past and nothing happened, but when a tornado raged through, the barn was destroyed.
Pat Lamb, the Kortrights daughter, lives below her parents and said she saw and heard the twister. It missed her house and her parents home, and made a path for the barn, taking the roof with it as it continued down through the woods, mangling and destroying trees. Lamb said she saw three trees intertwined and wrapped together in the woods that she routinely walks through.
The Kortrights barn was all handmade in the 1800s, and Sandy Kortright, Cliff and Agnes granddaughter, said they made things to last. The barn evidently couldnt withstand a tornado, though.
Sandy also thinks that the tornado split and went in two directions.
Lamb said the damage could have come from straight-line winds, but she is sure it was a tornado, or possibly both.
On Tuesday, the Kortright family walked down through the woods and picked up truckloads of debris, cleaning the fields as best they could.
Lamb said the view from the top of the hill by the barn is beautiful, you can see the Neversink Reservoir. The barn has been on postcards and can also be seen from the Neversink Reservoir itself.
She also said the barn has sentimental value, because its so old and has been standing strong for many years.
According to the National Weather Service, there were no reports of tornadoes anywhere in Sullivan County this past week although Monticello and Smallwood suffered similarly extreme damage.
The Kortright family is sure, though, that their historic barn was in the way of a twister fixed on an unknown path of destruction.
It is not something any of us will forget, said Sandy Kortright.