Weather

How powerful were last week's tornadoes? Here's a closer look at the damage

Hundreds of downed trees, a door blown off its hinges and a car lifted into the air were among the damage caused by the line of powerful storms

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Last week's severe storms spawned five tornadoes, according to the National Weather Service -- three in Massachusetts, one in Rhode Island and one in Connecticut that was just confirmed on Monday.

The storms caused a wide swath of damage across numerous communities. One Rhode Island resident whose home was impacted described it as "30 seconds of hell."

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Source: National Weather Service Boston

The full account of all five tornadoes released by the weather service on Monday gives us a better look at the kind of damage each one caused.

Here's what we learned:

Scotland, Connecticut, tornado

The National Weather Service said a tornado touched down around 7:53 a.m. on Bass Road in Scotland, and continued along Route 14, crossing Pinch Street before it eventually lifted near Brook Road around 7:59 a.m. The entire path was about 2.7 miles, with winds up to 100 mph, making it an EF-1 tornado.

Very little structural damage was observed other than gutter damage to two homes, but the agency said there was "significant" tree damage. They estimated that over 100 trees were "either downed or sheared off at their tops."

Scituate, Johnston and North Providence, tornado

The second tornado touchdown recorded by the National Weather Service was in Rhode Island. It touched down near Byron Randall Road in Scituate around 8:40 a.m. Hundreds of large trees were uprooted or snapped at their bases. One home sustained damage to its roof, the top of its chimney was blown off, windows were blown in, and an exterior door was dislodged from its framing. Damage was consistent with winds of around 115 mph, which is classified as an EF-2 tornado.

The tornado then continued into Johnston, crossing Interstate 295 at Exit 10 and lifting a vehicle into the air before dropping it back onto the highway. The driver suffered minor injuries. From there, the tornado moved across Bridle Way and Carriage Way, snapping or uprooting several trees along the way. A metal stop sign pole was bent in half and the sign was blown away. The tornado also caused damage in Highland Memorial Park Cemetery, where a number of trees were snapped or uprooted. The damage in Johnston was consistent with winds of 90 to 100 mph, consistent with an EF-1 tornado.

The tornado then crossed into North Providence, continuing to snap or uproot trees, some of which fell onto homes or vehicles. Most of the damage was to the north of Mineral Spring Avenue. Other hard-hit areas included Lydia Avenue, Armand Drive and Bennett Street, where two homes were left uninhabitable due to fallen trees. The tornado lifted around 8:57 a.m. after traveling about 9.1 miles. The damage observed in North Providence was consistent with 90 to 100 mph winds, which is classified as an EF-1 tornado.

North Attleborough and Mansfield, Massachusetts, tornado

The storm that produced the Rhode Island tornado produced a second tornado as it crossed into Massachusetts, touching down around 9:07 a.m. in North Attleborough and traveling about 7.6 miles before lifting around 9:22 a.m. in Mansfield.

Many trees were snapped or uprooted on Mendon Road near the intersection of Monticello Drive. One eyewitness saw swirling debris before taking shelter. From there, the National Weather Service said the damage was more sporadic. A home on Mary Ann Way had its third floor window blown in, and there were a number of downed trees on Lisa Drive. The tornado lifted briefly before touching back down in Mansfield near Gilbert Street, where it sheared several large trees near their tops, one of which fell on a car. An air conditioning unit estimated to weigh 1,000 pounds was knocked over on the roof of a commercial building.

The damage observed was consistent with winds of 80 to 90 mph, an EF-1 tornado.

Stoughton, Massachusetts, tornado

A tornado briefly touched down around 9:37 a.m. on Eighth Street and Corbett Street in Stoughton, traveling about one-tenth of a mile before it lifted at 9:39 a.m.

Sporadic damage along a short path included fallen trees, one of which fell on a shed. Part of a fence was also blown in. The damage observed was consistent with winds of 70 to 80 mph, or an EF-0 tornado.

Weymouth, Massachusetts, tornado

The fifth and final tornado touched down in Weymouth near the intersection of Pleasant and Torrey streets around 9:52 a.m. It traveled just over one-third of a mile before lifting at 9:55 a.m. near a water tower at the end of Lockewoods Drive.

Numerous trees were uprooted and snapped. A home at the intersection of Burton Terrace and Torrey Street had about 20 shingles torn from its roof. A three-inch diameter branch from a treetop was blown about 120 yards and driven into the ground to a depth of two feet on Park Avenue. One eyewitness saw swirling debris out a window as she took shelter in her cellar.

The damage observed was consistent with 100 to 110 mph winds, which is considered a higher-end EF-1 tornado, according to the National Weather Service.

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