2 Microbursts Confirmed in Massachusetts

The National Weather Service is estimating that the area saw up-to-70mph winds when the microburst hit

Residents across New England are picking up the pieces following severe thunderstorms, which caused damage and flooding in some regions.

The National Weather Service has confirmed there were microbursts in both Methuen and Conway, Massachusetts; the former was Thursday night and the latter was Wednesday night.

The weather service estimates that Methuen saw up to 70 mph winds when the microburst hit, knocking down about 20 to 30 tree limbs and damaging at least one home.

In Conway, wind speeds were estimated at 80 mph in a very short path about one-half mile in length near Bent Nail Road to the south of the Deerfield River. Several large trees were snapped midway up, a small shed was destroyed, and there was minor damage to a home.

The National Weather Service was also scheduled to be in Salem, New Hampshire, on Friday to determine if the recent wicked weather in the area was actually a microburst. 

Severe wind and downpours brought down several trees on Birch Hill Road. Two of them landed in one backyard, flattening a shed and damaging a chicken coop. The other came crashing through one family's roof.

Not far from there, lighting hit another tree, sending huge splinters down onto another home. Thankfully, the home is unoccupied, but it is listed for sale.

During clean up on Friday, the Methuen neighborhood where the microburst hit was filled with the sound of chainsaws and wood chippers.

"I felt like I was on a ship in the middle of a hurricane, it just was blowing sideways and I've never seen anything like it before," said Methuen homeowner Matt Davis.

Davis' backyard pool is now home to tree branches and pine needles after a tall tree sliced through his fence and smashed through his patio furniture.

"I looked out the back first and I said woah that's not good," said Joe Papparaldo, another homeowner.

Tree screws spent hours at Joe and Priscille Pappalardo's home using a crane to remove more than half a dozen trees that came down in the storm.

Priscille Pappalardo said, "When I got home I looked and I said well this doesn't look too bad and he says no come here and I went to the front and I said, 'ohhhh no!'"

Even the Merrimack Valley Golf Club had to make last minute adjustments to its golf tournament Friday because so many large trees were uprooted onto the course.

Many in Methuen feel fortunate that despite the damage and clean up costs, they weren't injured.

"It's a very frightening thing, we were lucky the tree, it bounced off the roof of the house and fell between the shed and the house," homeowner Cam Dostie said.

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