PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Cleanup is underway after the National Weather Service (NWS) believes a tornado “likely” touched in Rhode Island and Connecticut during Wednesday’s powerful storm.
The NWS said its suspicion is based on radar data and damage reports from the hardest-hit neighborhoods.
The tornado’s exact strength, maximum wind speed and path remain unknown, though the NWS plans on surveying the damage sometime Thursday.
The NWS issued two Tornado Warnings in less than an hour Wednesday afternoon as torrential downpours and strong winds pummeled Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts.
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It appears Bungy Road, which runs through Glocester and Scituate, received the brunt of the damage. Numerous trees were snapped, uprooted and twisted in opposite directions by the strong winds, which also toppled power lines and sent debris soaring down the street.
“The sky got really dark,” Bungy Road resident Eileen Rose recalled. “The wind started to blow ferociously and branches were flying everywhere.”
WATCH: Storm damage on Bungy Road in Scituate and Glocester (Story continues below.)
The situation was similar on Shippee Schoolhouse Road in Foster, where the roadway was littered with fallen tree limbs and wires. The NWS also received reports of roughly 20 trees down in nearby Killingly, Connecticut.
This comes less than a week after flash flooding from unusually heavy rainfall displaced dozens of Cranston residents and significantly damaged a Providence shopping plaza. The NWS described Monday’s 10 inches of rainfall over a six-hour span as a “200-year event.”
Meanwhile, Hurricane Lee is barreling toward New England and threatening another round of violent storms in the region in the coming days.
The National Hurricane Center issued a Tropical Storm Watch for much of the New England coast and a Storm Surge Watch for southeastern Massachusetts ahead of Lee’s arrival.
In a social media post, Gov. Dan McKee said the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency is actively monitoring “the fast-changing weather conditions over the next few days.”
Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey issued a state of emergency Tuesday after flooding devastated communities across the Commonwealth, especially in North Attleboro and Leominster.
New England has had its fair share of wild weather in recent months, including five tornadoes that left behind trails of damage in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut. Nearly a month prior, a storm dumped up to two months worth of rain in a two-day span on Vermont, resulting in two deaths.
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