Cape Cod

One Year On, Remembering the Cape Cod Tornadoes of 2019

NBC Universal, Inc.

Cape Cod on Thursday marked the one-year anniversary of the day three EF-1 tornadoes wrought havoc amid the peak of the tourism season, severely damaging buildings and knocking out power for thousands.

The tornado caused damage to buildings and trees and left some areas too treacherous for people to go, even while the region was packed with tourists. But there were no reports of injuries or deaths, just power outages.

One of the tornadoes began as a waterspout that moved onshore near Kalmus in Barnstable and traveled about 5.5 miles to South Yarmouth.

Parts of Cape Cod were struck by at least one tornado on Tuesday, July 23, 2019. There was widespread damage.

Another tornado touched down near Harwich and lifted about 2.75 miles away in East Harwich, though wind damage was still seen in nearby Chatham.

The third traveled a quarter mile in West Yarmouth from Yacht Avenue and Schooner Street to Egg Harbor Road and lasted one minute, causing mainly damage to trees.

In West Yarmouth, video captured the moment the roof was torn off the Cape Sands Inn. Megan McGuire, who was staying at the motel with her mother, said it "sounded almost like a locomotive, just for like a few seconds.

A rare Cape Cod tornado touched down in Massachusetts on Tuesday. Watch as the tornado rips off the roof of Cape Sands Inn in West Yarmouth.

"As soon as it was over we looked outside and the building at the far end, the roof was just ripped off. The building is still standing but the roof is in the backyard now."

In response, Gov. Charlie Baker activated the Massachusetts National Guard to help the Cape Cod communities.

According to the National Weather Service, before that day, there had only ever been three tornadoes documented touching down on Cape Cod: in 2018, 1977 and 1968.

Contact Us