(WTNH) - Destructive, powerful storms. Connecticut caught in the crosshairs.
Two tornadoes touched down in New Haven County last year, igniting panic and fear.
Just after 4:50 PM, a tornado touched down in Southbury. As the tornado dropped, it continued southeast into Oxford leaving a path of uprooted and snapped trees in its 4-mile wake.
For the softball team at Great Oak Middle School, it would be a day they will never forget.
Great Oak softball coach Trish Bogen said, "we got a little nervous, so we started screaming at the girls to get back into the building… because I realized we didn't have enough time to get out or get home."
One year later, the evidence of that frightening day is nearly gone.
Southbury Superintendent Ana V. Ortiz said, "The torn roof on the girl's locker room, that has been repaired...any ceiling tiles that were damaged have been replaced...two roof exhaust fans were damaged as well...several trees that fell where the chain link fence is, that was also repaired."
As that tornado lifted, a second tornado touched down in Beacon Falls right off Bethany Road, and this tornado had a path almost 10 miles long and made it all the way to Hamden.
This is a dangerous violent situation. It lasted for just 8 minutes.
Megan Jermain of Hamden said, "You couldn't see anything outside and it got really loud and my parents started screaming go to the basement. And we went down to the basement, I think I made it to the third stair and you heard glass shattering throughout the whole house."
The tornado hit the ground in Beacon Falls and demolished a barn in Bethany before causing major damage in the northern part of Hamden. With winds estimated at 110 miles per hour, while it wasn't the worst tornado in Hamden's history, it sure caused a tremendous amount of damage.
Hundreds of families displaced for months, some still waiting to move back home.
Trees still lay across yards, homes are completely lost, and damage is still clearly visible with a landscape that will be changes for decades. Sadly two lives were lost during these storms on May 15, 2018 but Hamden residents were lucky.
What's important is your house, your home, your family, your health and if someone is trying to give you that two minute warning on the back of your head, listen. "it can save your life"...it did!
It's important to also know what to do if a tornado does strike near you.
- Make sure you get to the lowest level of your house. A basement is best!
- Make sure you stay far away from windows.
- Do not try to venture out until you know it's safe to do so. It could save your life!
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