KILLINGLY, Conn. (WTNH) — The National Weather Service confirmed Thursday that a tornado touched down in Killingly on Wednesday.
The National Weather Service’s survey team is still determining if it was a continuous path or separate touchdowns that hit Killingly and Foster, Glocester and Lincoln, Rhode Island, and North Attleboro, Mass.
A tornado warning for Windham County expired around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. Power was restored to most of the hundreds of homes in Killingly that were in the dark after strong winds passed.
“It’s scary that it was so close to home,” said Cathy White, who lives in the area.
A lot of the trees in Bailey Hill Road all fell in what appears to be the same direction.
That was the direction the storm headed as it moved into Rhode Island and then North Attleborough, Massachusetts. The direction of the debris is also what investigators look at.
“When we see kind of the debris laying all chaotically in different directions that’s a telltale sign of potential tornadic damage,” said Torry Dooley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
The powerful winds ripped shingles and a weathervane from the roof of a Bailey Hill Road home. The gusts also forced a stick into the side of the house, but the tomatoes in the garden below were left untouched.
Scott Courtemanche’s parents live in the home. His mom said the tornado sounded like a freight train.
“The house suffered some damage,” Courtemanche said. “There’s some water damage inside the house, but luckily the most important thing — my parents are okay.”
The cows next door at the Bailey Hill Farm, however, were spooked.
“They don’t want to come out of the barn anymore,” said Jim Beanland, who owns Bailey Hill Farm. “Normally, they’d be out there grazing right now.”
Beanland said the cow’s barn was damaged.
“The wall’s buckled in, you know, the air must have got underneath it, because it kind of lifted — seemed to have lifted it in the air and put it back down,” Beanland said.
Investigators with the National Weather Service still have to look at radar, drone footage and other evidence to determine how long the tornado was on the ground, how far it traveled, how wide it was and how strong it was.
Justin Alvord was in his yard picking mushrooms when the storm passed through Bailey Hill Road.
“I was sprinting towards the house because it started pouring, [the wind] was enough where I could tell I wasn’t running as fast as I could run. It was pushing me back,” he said.
The wind took down branches and uprooted trees. Roads were closed as cleanup crews took care of the debris.
Trees were also down across the state line in Rhode Island. A popular back road in Foster called Shippee School House Road was closed as crews cleaned up a large tree. The tree also took down a power line, cutting electricity to the few homes on the street.
“It’s the ones that are rotted inside that have leaves carry a little wind like a sail and it’ll come down and do more damage than the rotted ones,” said Gordon Rogers, the highway director for the town of Foster.