Extensive damage after tornado rips through Webster and Dudley, Massachusetts

Extensive damage after tornado rips through Webster and Dudley, Massachusetts

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The National Weather Service office in Boston confirmed two tornadoes across Windham County, Connecticut into southern Worcester County, Massachusetts which touched down on Saturday, August 4, 2018. The tornadoes occurred from the same parent thunderstorm cell. One tornado caused extensive damage, injured one person and displaced up to 50.

A confirmed EF-1 tornado ripped through the towns of Webster and Dudley in Massachusetts early Saturday morning while an EF-0 was reported in Woodstock, Connecticut.

The most significant damage appears to be along Main Street in Webster near the town of Dudley, Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) said. The twister downed trees and ripped roofs from homes and businesses, leaving 30 to 50 people displaced.

Three buildings were damaged in Webster, two commercial and one mixed use, MEMA said in a statement, adding that additional four to five have been declared uninhabitable.

Webster Fire Chief said it was necessary to tear down three buildings.

Michael Shaw, Webster Deputy Police Chief, said one woman sustained minor injuries after a piece of roof from a building hit her car. She was driving down Main Street when the tornado came through.

"We've got several buildings that were affected, a couple of them were vacant. We do have some buildings that are contained apartments that unfortunately had to have residents evacuated," Shaw said.

"Our building inspector is checking to make sure that those are OK in case they are able to go back into them. If not, we have opened an emergency shelter. But we've got a lot of debris down, telephone poles snapping. From what I'm being told, the majority of the town is without power, so we're taking precautions. We have National Grid on the scene, both gas and electric, making sure that we can try to resolve that situation as soon as possible."

The main impacted locations in Dudley include Schofield Ave, Chase Ave, Central Ave, Cross Street, and West Main Street near the Webster line, Dudley Police Chief said.

"There are power outages and numerous roads, including much of Webster’s South Main Street, blocked by debris and trees. Several are impassable. Non-emergency vehicle and pedestrian traffic are asked to stay out of the area, especially due to downed power lines." 

More than 5 600 people were without power in Worcester and Essex counties following the tornado.

The second tornado touched down Saturday afternoon in Woodstock, Connecticut. NWS said it was short-lived and confirmed it as EF-0. 

NWS office in Boston said their employees continue to survey the damage but they did release a preliminary damage survey for both tornadoes. A more formal and detailed report will be issued on Monday, August 6.

Featured image: Tornado damage in Webster, MA on August 4, 2018. Image credit: Mike Cyrek

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