On Monday afternoon, an EF-1 tornado started in the southwestern part of Windsor Locks and hopped the river, breaking trees, bringing down wires and blanketing town with tobacco cloth from a nearby farm.
The tornado on Monday touched down around 1:30 p.m., according to the National Weather Service, and brought winds of around 86 miles per hour,
It caused damage, but apparently no injuries.
Peter Capp, of Windsor Locks, witnessed the storm.
“I saw the funnel crowd over the top of the trees here and I then yelled to my wife, ‘We got to get in the basement,’” Capp said.
By the time he reached the basement steps, the tornado had passed, but what it left behind is devastating.
“I came out and I went, ‘Oh my God, it hit my truck’, then saw the pine tree in the front,” he said. You know, that’s a 30-40 foot tree that went over. If that had fallen in the other, opposite direction, it would have been on the house.”
The tornado started not far from the Capps’ home, near Raymond and Alicia roads, hitting everything in its path and draping anything left standing in acres of white tobacco cloth from a nearby farm.
The storm continued toward Preston Street, directly toward the home of Donald Warner, where downed trees smother his home.
“I heard cracks and I looked out that side first and saw that tree had come down and then, when I walked around the front, I started looking out the front and all trees were down, all around the house – everywhere,” Warner said.
Dan Rozman, of Windsor Locks, said what lasted a moment will live on for a lifetime.
”It was less than a minute. Just boom. Just a wall of air going by the window -- trees going down left and right. Me starting to back off from the window and thinking, ‘I better start running down to the basement,’ and then it was just over,” Rozman said.
However, First Selectman Steve Wawruck said this storm was nothing compared to the one that came through on October 3, 1979.
“Not close. Not close at all. The entire corridor, at that time there was an air museum up there -- 30 airplanes were tossed about, there were tractor trailer trucks," he said. "That was more significant.” "
Three people were killed in the 1979 storm and nearly 500 were injured.