Windsor Locks remembers devastating tornado 40 years later


WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. (WWLP) – It was 40-years-ago Thursday that one of the costliest tornadoes in U.S. history caused devastation in southern New England.

“The enormous task of cleaning up after a killer tornado is facing thousands of people in the Windsor Locks, Connecticut area this morning…”

At around 3 p.m. on Wednesday, October 3, 1979 an F4 tornado with winds in excess of 200 mph touched down in Poquonock in the town of Windsor, Connecticut and moved up along Route 75 into Feeding Hills.

The tornado all but destroyed the Bradley Air Museum in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. Sixteen planes were destroyed and 10 others were badly damaged.

The roof of a hangar at the museum was also completely ripped off. A year following the tornado, The New England Air Museum was built on the other side of the airport and has a new exhibit on the Windsor Locks Tornado.

“We didn’t want to just glorify the tornado we wanted to tell the story of rebuilding and recovering both at the museum and in the communities, ” said Nick Hurley the curator of the New England Air Museum.

The Windsor Locks Tornado carved an 11-mile path of destruction from Connecticut into western Massachusetts. In all, three people lost their lives and 500 people were injured. The tornado caused around $420 million in damage.

You can check out the new exhibit at the New England Air Museum which is located next to the airport off of Route 75 in Windsor Locks, Connecticut.

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