Tornado touched down in Mass., RI late Wednesday, NWS says

Evidence of the tornado was found on a path that traveled from through Lincoln and Cumberland Rhode Island and into North Attleborough, Massachusetts, according to the National Weather Service

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A tornado touched down in Rhode Island and traveled into Massachusetts late Wednesday, the National Weather Service confirmed.

The National Weather Service said the tornado, an EF-1, hit the area of Breakneck Hill Road in Lincoln, Rhode Island, traveling east-northeast and uprooting trees. Some fell on homes in Lincoln and Cumberland.



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The storm, which hit a maximum wind speed of about 100 mph and was as much as 100 yards wide, crossed the state line into North Attleborough, Massachusetts.

"Three feet more, and it would've been right on my bedroom," said Attleborough resident Skylar Ward of a tree that fell in her backyard. "The tornado warning happened on my phone. And about five minutes later, I heard a big 'boom.'"

"[I] couldn't see anything. We didn't know what was going on," said Attleborough resident Francis Fitzpatrick. "We thought it was lightning strikes, but lightning doesn't strike two, three, four trees in a row."

In nearby Halifax in neighboring Plymouth County, the MBTA temporarily suspended Commuter Rail service.

"The storm had such strong winds aloft that were spinning that we felt concerned that there could be a tornado that was imminent," said National Weather Service meteorologist Torry Dooley.

Dooley lives in Lincoln, Rhode Island, where the tornado first formed.

"The work that we do here is important to get that life-saving information out to the general public in a timely manner," he said. "That way they can get to their safe spot."

The area was among the parts of southern New England that were hit by serious storms Wednesday. A tornado warning was issued before midnight in Massachusetts' Plymouth County and Bristol County, and in Providence County, Rhode Island.

Tornado warnings issued late Wednesday for parts of Massachusetts and Rhode Island have expired. Meteorologist Pete Bouchard analyzed the radar signature of the potentially tornado-producing storm live on air.

It's the second confirmed tornado in New England this week — another tornado, rated EF-1, was confirmed to have touched down Sunday in Dublin, New Hampshire. And there were several other tornado warnings issued during those storms that prompted warnings from the National Weather Service.

Wednesday night's storm lightning, strong winds and heavy rain large swaths of southern New England, causing heavy flooding in places and knocking out power to tens of thousands.

There were still about 3,000 customers without power in Massachusetts as of 3:20 p.m. Thursday afternoon, according to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency — down from over 10,000 earlier in the day.

The Boston Red Sox game at Fenway Park was rained out in the second inning due to the heavy rains, and flood waters could even be seen streaming down staircases at the historic ballpark.

To the south in Connecticut, about 27,000 were still without power on Thursday afternoon, as trees were down and roads closed across the state. The storms brought heavy rain, thunder, intense lighting and wind gusts of 77 miles per hour, according to reports from Bradley Airport.

In Willimantic, a man in his 50s died after he was found pinned under a downed tree.

In Windsor, a tree fell onto a home on Robin Road, trapping a 3-year-old child in a bedroom, according to fire officials.

Assistant Chief Daniel Savelli said by the time firefighters arrived, the parents had pulled the toddler from the bedroom but the family was still trapped inside the house. Firefighters were able to safely remove the family from the home, Savelli said.

An ambulance crew checked out the 3-year-old, but the child was not injured.

Another 8,000 customers were without power in Rhode Island as a result of damage caused by Wednesday's storm.

Downed trees were reported across the state, and highway crews worked overnight to clear impacted roads.

In northern New England where the storms weren't so fierce, New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont saw far lower outage totals, numbering in the hundreds.

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