LAKEWOOD, N.Y. (WIVB) - The Village of Lakewood was hit hard by a hailstorm that crossed WNY on Labor Day.
Residents reported an inch or two of hail fell in the area before it melted, and a few thousand people lost power. Strong winds accompanied the storm, bringing down trees and power lines.
The storm moved in quickly, and residents around Chautauqua Lake say it's the strongest they've seen in over 40 years.
Rick Turner said, "It literally lifted some docks out of the water and turned them over on their side. I don't know if it was a micro burst or a small tornado or what."
"It started lightly, but it almost sounded like a train coming," described Ron Dennison. "It was pelting everything, bouncing off the windows and just stacking up on the porches."
Sara Lambert said, "It started raining really hard and all of a sudden we heard hail crashing through."
PHOTOS | See pictures from the hailstorm here
As if the hail wasn't odd enough, when a tree uprooted, it flipped Frank Monteleone's car on its side.
"It was just surreal," he said. "You couldn't really see that much, it was so dark and windy, but I did see it go over. This is unbelievable."
"I'm going to let them cut the stump down and hopefully we'll get it back on the road and it will run like a Honda."
National Grid crews had several hundred people without power, but most were back on line after a few hours.
"I've lived on the lake nearly all my life," Turner said. "This is one of the more significant [storms] I've seen."
The National Weather Service believes this was most likely straight line wind damage since they have no reports or eyewitness accounts of a funnel cloud.
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