Story Summary

Tornado Hits Connecticut

A tornado hit north central Connecticut on Monday, July 1, causing damage in Windsor, Windsor Locks and East Windsor. No major injuries were reported.

Story Timeline
Previous Next
This story has 7 updates

A tornado touched down in Greenwich and Stamford Monday, the National Weather Service in New York reported Tuesday afternoon.  This was the state’s second confirmed tornado.

There were no injuries.

The first confirmed tornado lashed its way across Windsor, Windsor Locks and East Windsor Monday afternoon, toppling trees, taking down power lines, tearing apart an inflatable sports dome and ripping tobacco netting from fields and draping it across houses and I-91.

Only one minor injury was reported — the driver of a truck that was knocked over by the storm in the parking lot of the Wal-Mart store in East Windsor. A second truck was tossed onto its side on I-91.

The National Weather Service, in a preliminary statement, said the tornado touched down near Hayden Station Road in Windsor and moved 2.25 miles across Windsor Locks and into East Windsor. Wind speeds reached 90 mph and the storm’s width was about 200 yards, the weather service said. The weather service said the tornado was rated an EF1.

 

A tornado that tore through north central Connecticut on Monday damaged tobacco fields in Windsor, including ripping up netting and throwing it on top of houses, power lines and highways.

Netting ripped from the O.J. Thrall Inc. tobacco fields was carried for up to two miles. But despite the heavy rain and wind speeds of more than 80 mph during the five-minute storm, the only injuries reported were a truck driver who saw his tractor-trailer overturn in a Walmart parking lot in East Windsor.

“The nets were flying like leaves,” said Diane Smith, who spotted the nets flying and dropping onto her property in Windsor Locks. The air turned a greenish-brown color as the storm moved through, she said. “The air – you couldn’t see through it.”

The tornado that hit Connecticut on Monday tore down the dome over a sports complex in East Windsor, causing a few tense and frightening moments for children and staff at Sports World.

Kathy Russotto, camp director at Sports World, said 29 campers and five counselors were inside the dome when she received a message on her phone that a tornado warning had been issued. She quickly gathered the children into an adjacent building and told them to get under tables.

“As soon as we got them under the tables, I heard the noise behind us,” she said. “I looked out, and the dome was gone. It was just a horrendous noise. I can’t even articulate what it sounded like.”

Kate Muratone, one of Sports World’s co-owners, said she was relieved that every was OK and called Russotto a hero for getting the kids and staff to safety.

The National Weather Service confirms a tornado touched down near Windsor Locks for 5 mins at 1:30 PM. The EF1 tornado had maximum winds of 86 miles an hour, a path width of 200 yards and a path length of 2.5 miles. The tornado touched down near Raymond Road and Alicia Terrace in Windsor Locks, continuing across the Connecticut River and ending in the 200 block of Main street in East Windsor, Connecticut.

Numerous trees were down, a semi truck was knocked onto its side, the tobacco fields by the airport were damaged and a sports bubble in East Windsor collapsed and blew into a highway.

This weather pattern isn’t getting old…it was old last week! Scattered showers and storms will continue on Tuesday.  Any storms that develop have the potential to produce poor drainage flooding.  Now for the good news. The weather pattern is slowly (finally) changing. Each day this week will get progressively drier, sunnier, and warmer.  By the fourth of July, showers and storms will be hit or miss with temps approaching 90 degrees. Heat wave number #3 may be in the books after this weekend.

Monday night: Leftover shower/storm. Patchy fog, drizzle. Low: Near 70.

Tuesday: Patchy morning fog and drizzle. Otherwise, humid with scattered showers and storms. Poor drainage flooding is possible in any storm that develops. High: Upper 70s and low 80s.

Wednesday: Mix of sun and clouds with the chance for a shower or thunderstorm in spots, mainly in the afternoon. High: Low to mid 80s.

Thursday: Very warm to hot, hazy and humid. Chance for an isolated shower or storm late in the day. Mid 80s to near 90.

Friday: Partly cloudy, hot and humid. It’s possible we make it though the entire day dry for the first time in a while! Mid 80s to near 90.

Saturday: Hot, hazy and humid! Chance for an isolated shower or storm late in the day. Near 90 inland, mid 80s along the shoreline. Mid 80s to near 90.

A tornado lashed its way across Windsor, Windsor Locks and East Windsor Monday afternoon, toppling trees, taking down power lines, tearing apart an inflatable sports dome and ripping tobacco netting from fields and draping it across houses and I-91.

Only one minor injury was reported — the driver of a truck that was knocked over by the storm in the parking lot of the Wal-Mart store in East Windsor. A second truck was tossed onto its side on I-91.

The National Weather Service, in a preliminary statement, said the tornado touched down near Hayden Station Road in Windsor and moved 2.25 miles across Windsor Locks and into East Windsor. Wind speeds reached 90 mph and the storm’s width was about 200 yards, the weather service said. The weather service said the tornado was rated an EF1.

Several streets in Windsor Locks were impassable with trees and power lines down. Windsor Locks officials limited access to the neighborhoods because of concern about power lines that were still energized. Connecticut Light and Power Co. said it would have crews work through the night to restore power.

Netting ripped from the O.J. Thrall Inc. tobacco fields along Kennedy Road and Hayden Station Road in Windsor was carried up to 2 miles, across Windsor Locks, the Connecticut River and I-91. Video captured by a motorist on I-91 showed long sections of netting floating through the sky.

Pieces of the Sports World dome in East Windsor, which sits adjacent to the highway, were also ripped up by the storm and thrown across the highway. Traffic came to a standstill at one point.

Twenty nine campers and five counselors were at a summer camp program inside the dome at Sports World in East Windsor when the camp director, Kathy Russotto, received a message on her phone that a tornado warning had been issued.

“Within 10 seconds a very heavy rain started,” Russotto said Monday afternoon. “I went into the dome [and] whistled for the kids.” The children were hustled from the dome into an adjacent building and told to get under tables. “There was a little 5-year-old. I had a counselor pick him up because I could see the dome starting to move, which is very uncommon.”

Russotto was the last person out of the dome. “As soon as we got them under the tables, I heard the noise behind us. I looked out and the dome was gone. It was just a horrendous noise. I can’t even articulate what it sounded like.”

“I saw the bubble start shaking and that’s when I got really scared,” said Dillon Morando, 12, who was attending the Sports World camp. “I was right in the door when I heard it pop. That’s when I ran under the table.”

One of Sports World’s owners, Kate Muratore, said she was relieved everyone was OK. And she called Russotto a hero for getting the kids and staff to safety.

“I just did what you’re supposed to do,” Russotto said.

By David Owens, Hartford Courant

The National Weather Service confirms a tornado touched down near Windsor Locks for 5 mins at 1:30 PM. The EF1 tornado had maximum winds of 86 miles an hour, a path width of 200 yards and a path length of 2.5 miles. The tornado touched down near Raymond Road and Alicia Terrace in Windsor Locks, continuing across the Connecticut River and ending in the 200 block of Main street in East Windsor, Connecticut.

Numerous trees were down, a semi truck was knocked onto its side, the tobacco fields by the airport were damaged and a sports bubble in East Windsor collapsed and blew into a highway.

This weather pattern isn’t getting old…it was old last week! Scattered showers and storms will continue on Tuesday.  Any storms that develop have the potential to produce poor drainage flooding.  Now for the good news. The weather pattern is slowly (finally) changing. Each day this week will get progressively drier, sunnier, and warmer.  By the fourth of July, showers and storms will be hit or miss with temps approaching 90 degrees. Heat wave number #3 may be in the books after this weekend.

Tonight: Leftover shower/storm. Patchy fog, drizzle. Low: Near 70.

Tomorrow: Patchy morning fog and drizzle. Otherwise, humid with scattered showers and storms. Poor drainage flooding is possible in any storm that develops. High: Upper 70s and low 80s.

Wednesday: Mix of sun and clouds with the chance for a shower or thunderstorm in spots, mainly in the afternoon. High: Low to mid 80s.

Thursday: Very warm to hot, hazy and humid. Chance for an isolated shower or storm late in the day. Mid 80s to near 90.

Friday: Partly cloudy, hot and humid. It’s possible we make it though the entire day dry for the first time in a while! Mid 80s to near 90.

Saturday: Hot, hazy and humid! Chance for an isolated shower or storm late in the day. Near 90 inland, mid 80s along the shoreline. Mid 80s to near 90.

Severe storms that plowed through East Windsor and part of Windsor Locks Monday toppled trees, wires and possibly a tractor trailer truck. Hundreds in the two towns were without power Monday afternoon.

Part of the sports dome near exit 44 on I-91 in East Windsor blew into the southbound lanes of the highway, police and state officials said. One southbound lane was open around 2 p.m., said Kevin Nursick of the state Department of Transportation.

There were reports of funnel clouds seen off I-91 near Windsor Locks about 1:45 p.m., and police and firefighters rushed to places where wires and trees fell — some reportedly on houses. A tornado warning that was posted for Hartford and Tolland counties expired at 2 p.m.

“All indications are that it is some sort of tornado,” East Windsor Police Chief Edward DeMarco said. He couldn’t confirm it, he said, but the damage seems conducive to such a storm.

Within the 20 minutes between 1:30 and 1:50 p.m., police responded to calls about multiple accidents including downed trees and wires. A tractor trailer rolled over in the parking of the local Wal Mart store, the chief said. The driver was injured, but was able to climb out, he said.

The sports dome was occupied when parts of its roof tore away, but no one inside was injured, he said.

At 2:45 p.m., Connecticut Light & Power reported 809 outages in Windsor Locks and 141 in East Windsor. Windsor had 189.

The southern section of Windsor Locks has a lot of damage, and Route 190 in Enfield was flooded, police in those towns said.

Earlier Monday, a tornado warning was in effect for Fairfield County, but the warning expired at 11:30 a.m.

The National Weather Service issued the warning at 11:04 a.m. after spotting a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado near New Canaan.

The storm was moving northeast at 25 mph just north of the Merritt Parkway, the weather service reported.

Advertisement