Path of Destruction: Remembering the 1979 Tornado - NBC Connecticut

A Devastating Storm

On October 3, 1979, a powerful F4 tornado, one of only two to ever hit Connecticut, ripped through Windsor, Windsor Locks and Suffield. Three people died and 500 were injured. To this day, it remains the costliest tornado on record in the northeastern United States, causing $700 million in damage in today's dollars. Scroll through to learn more.

Carole Dembkoski

Carole Dembkoski was killed when her home at 23 Settler Circle in Windsor was leveled by the storm. Her body was found three days later under the rubble of another home three doors down.

Family Photo

An Aerial View

Aerial footage shows the aftermath of the storm on Poquonock Avenue and Settler Circle, and the rebuilding process.


William 'Billy' Kowalsky

Billy Kowalsky working on the exterior of a building when the tornado hit. He and two other workers tried to take cover in their truck, but a piece of lumber crashed through the windshield, hitting and killing Kowalsky. He left behind a wife and 2-year-old daughter.

Family Photo

The Aftermath

Dozens of families lived out of mobile homes brought in from around New England after the tornado devastated entire neighborhoods.

Windsor Historical Society