Cape Cod Battered by Rare and Terrifying Tornado That Touched Down in Multiple Locations
A rare tornado touched down in Cape Cod on Tuesday, causing severe wreckage but no injuries.
The twister — which had wind speeds of up to 110 miles per hour — touched down in multiple Massachusetts locations, including towns Yarmouth and Harwich, the National Weather Service said in a statement Tuesday.
“The damage on the cape was caused by both a tornado and straight line wind damage,” the NWS’ statement said, adding that the town of Harwich was the hardest hit, and that more information would be released on Wednesday.
While the tornado caused significant damage, including downed power lines, there have been no known injuries, Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency said in a tweet Tuesday, reminding citizens in tornado warning areas to take shelter underground or on the lowest floor of a building during such emergencies.
The powerful winds were enough to blow the roof right off of the Cape Sands Inn, a popular Yarmouth hotel, which was caught in a terrifying video by 7News Boston.
“Our thoughts are with those impacted by the devastating tornado + severe weather on #CapeCod” said Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker in a tweet. “Through @MassEMA + other agencies, our administration will continue to work with local partners to ensure public safety + assist in response and recovery efforts.”
By early afternoon, more than 10,000 people in the area were without power, and that number increased throughout the day, the NWS said.
The NWS is conducting an investigation “to assess the damage from the tornado,” and will provide more details once it has been completed.
Tornados are a rare event in New England. The National Centers for Environmental Information reported that out of about 1, 253 tornados in the United States per year, Massachusetts averages only one twister per year.
The NCEI also said that because of improved forecasting systems, most tornadoes do not result in death.
Meanwhile, the Midwest has been ravaged by tornadoes this year, with a consecutive 12 days of tornadoes reported in May — killing at least seven people.