JOHNSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — Joseph Swift couldn’t believe his eyes when he pulled up in front of the Highland Memorial Park Cemetery Friday.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Swift, who’s the president of the cemetery.

Dozens of trees were uprooted, toppled and completely snapped in half after a tornado tore through.

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Swift said he was moved to tears as he walked by the disturbed gravestones and memorials.

“It ripped up 40 to 50-year-old trees … ripped them up and literally threw them across the street,” Swift said. “That’s how strong it was.”

Swift said no gravestones nor memorials were damaged, but it will take quite some time before the cemetery is walkable again. He’s urging everyone to steer clear of the cemetery until the downed trees are removed.

“We know everyone is concerned about their [loved ones’] grave sites,” he said. “We’re asking families to be patient … we’re trying the best we can and using all of the resources available to us.”

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