Wednesday, July 9, 2014

At Least 5 Killed In Northeast Storm; Vermont Among Areas With Damage

Sadly, five people are reported to have died in the massive outbreak of severe weather that struck the Northeast yesterday.  
Damage from a possible tornado that killed 4 people
in Smithfield, N.Y. Photo by John Haegar, Oneida
Daily Dispatch.  

One storm that carried a tornado warning between Syracuse and to a point east of Utica,  killed four people in the town of Smithfield, east of Syracuse. 

Their house collapsed in the strong winds. It looks like it was probably a tornado, but the National Weather Service will go out for a look-see today to confirm that.

Another death was reported in Maryland when a tree limb fell on a boy at a summer camp.

As expected with this storm, there was widespread damage to buildings and cars, lots of trees down and lots of power failures.

Here in Vermont, the damage was hit and miss, as it was throughout the region. In the south end of Burlington and in the city of South Burlington, I took a quick tour after the worst of storm passed and found many downed trees, widespread power failures and street flooding.

Some of the trees hit cars and buildings, causing additonal damage. It was hard to see how bad it was, but I do know several streets in Burlington were closed due to fallen trees and branches.

To give you an idea how localized this damage can be, I'd estimate winds had to at least 60 mph or a little more to cause the kind of damage I saw in the South End of Burlington. But at the National Weather Service office in South Burlington, maybe a mile or two away from the damage zone, the top wind peaked at 29 mph.

At one point more than 18,000 homes and businesses throughout Vermont had no power.  As of 7 a.m. this morning, at least 4,000 in Vermont still had no electricity.

It was the second time in a week destructive storms hit Vermont. Last Friday, another round of storms caused a lot of power failures and tree damage, especially in Rutland County.

Today, there will be a few more scattered thunderstorms in parts of New England and New York State, including all of Vermont, but we won't get anything nearly as severe as what happened Tuesday evening.

The humidity is lower now that a cold front has gone through. A series of weather disturbances will come through today and this evening, however, touching off the hit and miss showers and storms.

Some of the stronger storms might create some briefly gusty winds and small hail, but it won't be tremendously scary, that's for sure.

Calmer weather comes in Thursday through Saturday before more thunderstorms and showers arrive Sunday through Tuesday. It's too soon to tell if any storms Sunday, Monday and Tuesday will turn severe.

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