first alert weather

Trees Down, Power Out: Severe Storms, Including Tornado, Leave Pockets of Damage Across State

First Alert Meteorologist Ryan Hanrahan said based on radar confirmation, a tornado touched down in Bethany and Hamden.

NBC Connecticut

After an afternoon filled with tornado warnings and severe thunderstorm warnings, residents in some Connecticut towns are looking at another round of storm cleanup just a few weeks after Tropical Storm Isaias.

First Alert Chief Meteorologist Ryan Hanrahan said after reviewing the radar data it's clear a tornado did touch down Thursday afternoon. Radar detected tornado debris that was lofted into the air over Bethany and Hamden between 3:55 p.m. and 4 p.m.

The National Weather Service will investigate to determine the path width, length and intensity of the tornado.

The storms featured powerful winds, with a gust of 92 mph measured in North Haven and 69 mph measured in New Haven.

"We were hit hard but the damage is not nearly as extensive as it was a few weeks ago," Gov. Ned Lamont said Thursday evening.

The governor said the storm moved through the areas of Kent, Waterbury, North Haven, Hamden, Branford and Madison, hitting some towns hard and leaving many without power.

"We've got to make sure if these storms are getting more and more frequent our response is getting better and better each time around," the governor said.

He added that the state is watching the response by the power companies. Eversource drew widespread criticism for its handling of Isaias.


Public safety officials remind residents to always assume downed wires are live and to avoid them.

As of 11 p.m., Everource is reporting 25,000 customers without power.

Eversource reported that they were responding to hard-hit areas including Waterbury, Naugatuck, Prospect, and Woodbury.

Branford was also among the hard-hit, with 99% of customers in town reported out just after the storms moved through.

United Illuminating is reporting around 20,000 customers out, many in North Haven, North Branford, and Hamden.

PHOTOS: Severe Storms Move Through Connecticut


After the worst of the storms moved through, damage reports began coming in.

In Hamden, police said multiple roads were impassable after the storm.

An NBC Connecticut crew in Hamden said heavy rain and whipping winds moved through quickly. The storm took down trees and some wires. Town officials reported some buildings with roof damage.

"Our Town was hit very hard today, and there was a lot of damage, but I'm very thankful that we do not believe there were any major injuries. Our residents can count on the fact that our Public Safety and first responder crews will be all-hands-on-deck and working through the night, and then as long as it takes to make our streets safe," Mayor Curt Leng said in a statement Thursday night.

Whipping winds and heavy rain moved through Hamden Thursday afternoon.

Westport firefighters said they were called to help a driver who got stuck in their vehicle when a power line came down. Firefighters and Eversource crews were able to rescue the driver.

Westport firefighters said they've received numerous calls, including reports of trees that came down on houses.

In East Haven there were reports of tree branches down on multiple vehicles. Video from Bethany showed a box trailer tipped over from the force of the wind.

In North Haven, a tree came through the roof of a home.

Brett Gagliardi
Credit: Brett Gagliardi

Ansonia Police said United Illuminating will be shutting down power for several thousands of residents because of a downed tree on a transmission line at the UI substation beginning at 10 p.m. on Thursday.

The power outage will affect people living on or around North Main Street up to the Seymour town line and from East Main Street to the Woodbridge town line, police said.

Police said the utility company hopes to restore power as quickly as possible but anticipates at least a two-hour outage.

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