Fourth Tornado Hits Connecticut in 9 Days

By Staff Reports
|  Friday, Jul 12, 2013  |  Updated 9:54 AM EDT
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Shane Dunstan shot video of an apparent tornado in the Mansfield/Storrs area on Wednesday afternoon.

Shane Dunstan shot video of an apparent tornado in the Mansfield/Storrs area on Wednesday afternoon.

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The National Weather Service determined that an EF-1 tornado came through Andover and Coventry and into Mansfield, last night, but the storm that came through Tolland was a microburst.

This was the fourth tornado to hit Connecticut since last Monday.

The storm touched down in the area of East Street in Andover around 5:19 p.m., and caused damage for 11.2 miles, before diminishing around 5:51 p.m.

Winds of 90 miles per hour traveled north and east, into Coventry and the tornado ended near Clover Hill Road in Mansfield, according to the National Weather Service.

The storm was about 300 feet wide and meteorologists believe it lifted periodically. 

Both storm systems left damage and debris strewn about central and eastern Connecticut on Wednesday, but caused no injuries.  

Matt Doody, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said the cause of these severe storms is the hot and humid weather we've had over the past two weeks.

The air mass is unstable and acts like boiling water, creating thunderstorms, The humidity brings the cloud base lower, bringing rotation closer to the ground.

Today, residents are coming to grips with damage and cleaning up as a National Weather Service team worked to determine that one tornado actually touched down.

In Mansfield, residents said they saw black clouds and heard roaring winds.

The storm brought a tree down on Clover Mill Road, at the end of the tornado's path, and missed a house by inches.

Peter Strutt said he heard "terrific wind" when he was on the porch and what sounded like a train, so he and his family took cover in the basement.

The storm was over in minutes, but cracked trees on his property and took down a huge one next door.

"We were most surprised when we looked next door and saw that huge Poplar tree, which was completely uprooted," Strutt said.

Some residents said they saw funnel clouds.

"It was a cloud ... a funnel cloud, and debris just flying everywhere,"  James Hamely of Mansfield. "It was surreal; it was like out of a movie."

Hamely and many of his neighbors lost power after a fallen tree took out power lines on Mansfield City Road.

A photo taken by Nick Stanczyc shows a funnel cloud along Routes 31 and 32 and Shane Dunstan shot a video that shows the possible tornado near Orchard Drive in Storrs.

Most of the damage occurred nearby, in Coventry, where eyewitnesses reported watching a tornado touch down near Main and South streets.

Most damage happened at the Melody Farm, at 1000 South Street, where a barn was torn apart. Its roof was sent flying across the property, according to owner Bob Brainard.

Brainard said he was standing inches away from the barn when the storm hit and had to run for cover.

"It had to have been a twister," Brainard said. "It had to have been."

On Main Street, the storm also brought down a giant tree, which snapped and toppled onto a home. Crews spent hours working to remove the tree.

Doody said several trees were down near 419 Main Street, near the Mill River.

The storm that hit Tolland around 4:30 p.m. brought winds of around 80 miles per hour and caused damage for a span of 1 mile to a mile and a half, Doody said. It was about 100-feet wide.

On Wonderview Drive in Tolland, fallen trees, split branches and missing shingles were common. Not one single property escaped unscathed.

"The top of that tree came ripping down the street right at my truck, and all the debris was all down the street," Kyle Robinson, of Tolland, said.

Loehr Road was closed on Wednesday night as crews worked to remove fallen trees and debris.

Authorities reported tree damage in Plymouth, Tolland and Ellington as well.

Last Monday, Connecticut was hit by three tornadoes.

An EF-0 tornado touched down last Monday morning in Fairfield County. It started at 718 North Street in Greenwich and ended at Janes Lane in Stamford, bringing wind speeds of up to 80 mph.

An EF1-category twister tore through Windsor Locks and East Windsor for 2.5 miles.between 1:30 and 1:45 p.m. last Monday, reaching wind speeds of up to 86 mph. It was up to 200 yards wide.

An EF0 tornado touched down in Enfield around 1:45 p.m. last Monday, with wind speeds of up to 65 mph and a width of 50 yards. The twister traveled about three-quarters of a mile, according to the NWS.

 

 

 

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