Experts Survey Storm Damage to Determine If Tornado Hit Connecticut - NECN

Experts Survey Storm Damage to Determine If Tornado Hit Connecticut



    (NECN: Brian Burnell, Conn.) - Tornado or not? It is a question being asked across New England today in the wake of yesterday's powerful storms. The National Weather Service sent several teams out to find the answer.

    Ed Wilbur, Sharon, CT: "About 3-quarter inch hail and 60 to 70 mile an hour winds there and it just took the top of that tree and twisted it off and it went across the road there."

    Ed Wilbur tells meteorologist Ray O'Keefe what it was like Wednesday afternoon on his Sharon, Connecticut farm as a powerful thunderstorm ripped through. He told us the hail last for 20 minutes.

    Ed Wilbur, Sharon, CT: "Sounded just... well, you couldn't even hear because I've got aluminum siding on the house. It was beating on the house and the roof. On the windows on the house there. And I was out there and my wife was in the door when the wind took the top of this tree out of here."

    Stories like that are one piece of evidence as O'Keefe and his team from the National Weather Service investigate whether a tornado touched down here.

    Ray O'Keefe, National Weather Service: "We're interviewing people, getting first hand accounts. We're also getting video. Pictures. And then we're looking for the way the damage has occurred."

    A convergent pattern suggests a tornado. Dispersed debris leads is an indication of straight line winds. The Emergency Management Director in town says whatever it was hit hard just after 3.

    Tom Bartram, Emergency Management Director: "Our 9-1-1 lines just kept lighting up. Anybody call and say, 'I saw a funnel cloud'? Do you have anything that definitive? We had one call. The dispatch center in Litchfield took one call where the folks actually stated a tornado."

    There were 5 separate tornado warnings across New England yesterday. And we've already had a confirmed touchdown of a tornado in Bridgeport a few weeks ago. Is it a busier season than usual? Yes, but the experts say you can't draw any conclusions.

    Ray O'Keefe, National Weather Service: "I don't think we're ready to say that its really summer different than previous summers. Within the course of a typical year you can get quiet summers and active summers. This is an active summer."

    People here are hoping the coming dog days bring calmer weather.