According to the National Weather Service’s preliminary report, Revere was hit with an EF2 tornado with estimated top wind speeds of 120 miles per hour. The storm touched down near the Revere/Chelsea line and traveled for about two miles. It cut a swath 3/8 of a mile wide.
Tornado’s are scored on the Enhanced Fujita scale. The scale goes from zero to five, making an EF2 tornado somewhere in the middle of the scale.
“The damage was widespread throughout much of the center of Revere. The tornado traveled northward... basically following Route 107/Broadway,” wrote the service in its findings report.
Trees were down in various locations, closing several streets and crushing multiple cars.
Revere Police said that it was responding to reports of collapsed roofs and possible gas leaks.
Revere Street from Broadway to American Legion Highway was also reportedly closed.
Dan Smith, owner of Vertuccio & Smith Funeral Home on Broadway in Revere, was, like most in the city, caught off-guard by Monday morning’s tornado.
“I was downstairs doing some paperwork and I heard the pounding on a side door. I went upstairs because the way the door was shaking indicated to me that it was more than just bad weather.”
As soon as Smith got outside, “I saw the awning lift up and just go sailing away,” he said.
“We just won a beautification award from the city of Revere,” added Smith, who was left unsure about how his business will proceed with the six deaths it expected to handle this week.
Some trees that lined Route 16 were left barely standing, and others were decimated by the storm that severed branches and ripped off leaves.
A huge downed tree could be seen blocking American Legion highway.
Another tree was uprooted from beneath concrete near Route 60.
“We came out here and it looked like a war zone,” said Revere resident Freida DeMaino.
“I was watching the news when all of a sudden my phone and my husband’s phone went off with a warning for flash floods. As soon as it happened, that happened,” said DeMaino, who lives next to the Abraham Lincoln School on Tuckerman Street. “Everything started crashing into the windows. I felt numbness in my fingers. Whatever hit us took the main pool fence down in my yard and all my stuff is in my neighbor’s yard right now.”
Some establishments on Broadway near Fiske Street had their store signs fall onto a car parked nearby.
A billboard was blown from its perch and crashed onto Route 107.
Mayor Dan Rizzo spoke at a press conference early Monday afternoon to ask residents for their patience as he conveyed the range of damage that was unleashed on Revere.
“This clearly was an unexpected incident that took all of us by surprise,” Mayor Rizzo said. “It happened so quickly that it was hard for any of us to really identify [what happened].”
US Senator Elizabeth Warren and Gov. Deval Patrick were among the state’s officials who contacted and offered their support to Mayor Rizzo, who said he is most concerned with “life safety issues.”
“It’s a miracle that nobody sustained more serious injuries,” Rizzo added.
It was announced at the press conference that a baby was hurt from flying glass after a tree fell on top of the car in which the baby was traveling.
The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, which is coordinating the state’s response to the storms, had initially said it was not aware of any injuries or fatalities.
The City of Revere issued an official statement to reassure city residents that action was being taken.
We are in the process of evaluating the aftermath of the severe storm that passed through Revere this morning. Please remain off the main roads, especially Broadway and American Legion Highway. The City is working in conjunction with State and Federal agencies to clean-up and restore services. If you are experiencing an emergency please contact 911 immediately. Stay safe!
A State Police spokesperson told The Boston Globe that “People should just avoid the entire city of Revere at the moment.” Revere Police are also reportedly asking people to avoid the city until further notice.
“The main thing right now that we’re trying to deal with is obviously the live power lines and the downed trees so that public safety vehicles can get access if they need to,” Mayor Rizzo said.
Rizzo said Revere City Hall, which could be seen surrounded by debris and downed trees, had its windows and doors blown out as well as water damage. City Hall will likely close its offices for the next couple of days to deal with the storm’s aftermath.
Making sure that roads are passable and helping citizens who have trees down in their yards is a priority for the city, Mayor Rizzo said. However, he cautioned, life-threatening and other dangerous situation will take precedence.
Devastating damage to the town is apparent through the below two videos uploaded to social media.
Tornadoes in the Northeast are relatively rare, but Monday’s tornado was the second in as many days in New England. A small tornado reportedly hit Wolcott, Conn., on Sunday, bringing winds of up to 85 miles per hour.