Tornado touches down in Connecticut; downpours and flooding sweep Massachusetts

A tornado touched down just over the Massachusetts line in north central Connecticut on Monday afternoon, downing trees and damaging structures, the National Weather Service reported.

The tornado traveled about two-and-a-quarter miles, originating on Hayden Station Road in Windsor, Conn., where the roof was blown off a warehouse, and moving north though the neighboring town of Windsor Locks and then east across the Connecticut River to Main Street in East Windsor, according to a statement from the weather service in Taunton.

Witnesses reported flying debris and a roar like that of a freight train, the weather service said, as winds from the EF1 twister reached up to 90 miles per hour.

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Thunderstorms also rumbled through Massachusetts Monday, bringing torrential rain, flooding roads, and prompting the weather service to issue four tornado warnings.

One storm blew down numerous trees as it swept through Agawam’s Main Street area, according to Lieutenant Gary Brown of the Agawam Fire Department.

Brown said high winds downed utility lines, causing brief power outages. Some buildings sustained minor damage, and about 15 cars were damaged by falling trees, eight of them totaled, but no deaths or injuries were reported, Brown said.

“Everything’s almost back to normal, other than people losing their trees,” Brown said at about 5 p.m. Monday.

Carly Michel, a florist at Agawam Flower Shop at 430 Main St., said, “It was right out in our parking lot. It looked literally like a tornado.”

She said the winds picked up all the flowers outside her shop and broke the windows of shops down the street, leaving glass on the pavement. “It lasted two minutes and then went down,” she said.

Merrimack Valley and North Shore communities were hit hardest by the storms, which dumped up to 2 inches of rain in Lowell and other areas, said William Babcock, a National Weather Service meteorologist.

Despite the heavy rains and high winds, no injuries were reported, Babcock said.

He said flooding was reported in Springfield, Holyoke, and Westfield, as well as Haverhill and Lowell, where Moore Street was closed by the high waters. Flooding was also reported in Gloucester.

“Gloucester had at least one foot of water on Route 128. All lanes were flooded except the breakdown lane,” Babcock said.

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