EF-1 tornado rips through Cape Cod communities, leaves thousands without power

Hampden County

YARMOUTH, Mass. (WWLP) – Cleanup has begun and Eversource crews are on Cape Cod restoring power after a powerful tornado hit several communities, leaving damages and residents in the dark on Tuesday. 

Trees, power lines down in Yarmouth after EF-1 tornado touched down Tuesday

West Yarmouth was one of the hardest-hit areas from the storm that turned into a tornado. The National Weather Service confirmed late Tuesday night that an EF-1 tornado touchdown in West Yarmouth, South Yarmouth, and Harwich. 

According to MEMA spokesman Jeff Hall, there are 48,000 people without power across Massachusetts as of late Tuesday night, with a majority on the Cape.

“We don’t have many people in our shelter at this time,” Hall told 22News.

Areas outside of the path of the tornado even saw wind gusts up to 90 miles per hour. One was recorded in Kalmus. The high winds in West Yarmouth downed trees, and scattered them across roads, making them difficult to pass. 

You can see how intense the winds were, as these downed trees were healthy and large. Many fell onto utility lines, taking out power to tens of thousands of people.  

Photos: Tornado touched down on Cape Cod

We’ve had crews on duty since the start of the storm last night, including line workers, who were responding to power outages. We prepare for strong storms year-round by designing and hardening our system to withstand severe weather conditions like the fierce winds we experienced yesterday and today. We are actively responding to this storm, and we will continue to shift our crews to assist in the areas where they are needed most.

Doug Foley, Eversource Vice President of Electric Field Operations

Two women from New York are in West Yarmouth on vacation. At first, when they heard the rain, they thought everything was going to be fine. 

“We were like we’re okay, I think,” said Alexandra Hanlon of New York. “Then the lights went out, and there was no power, we were like oh, not it’s getting serious. So, we kind of just huddled in the corner of the kitchen area of our rental home.” 

The Red Cross sends volunteers to assist with tornado aftermath on Cape Cod

“We came back to our rental house because the wind was picking up, we were pretty scared, um, and then there was this big surge of wind that happened all of a sudden,” said Jennifer Hanlon, also from New York. “Our poor rental house, this poor lady, like the fence fell down, this giant tree fell down. There was a lot of damage everything was flooded.” 

High winds ripped the roof off a Cape Sands Inn in West Yarmouth. Cleanup is still underway on the Cape, it’ll likely take days, if not weeks. 

Customers experiencing a power outage should be sure to report it by calling Eversource at 800-592-2000 or click here.

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