Severe storms moved through all of southwestern Connecticut beginning after 4pm Tuesday afternoon. Now while the southern half of the area experienced heavy rain and strong winds, some of which that knocked down trees onto cars and power lines, a macroburst and possible tornado struck northern portions of our area. Unfortunately, two deaths have been reported from our area after a man was killed when a tree fell on his truck in the Candlewood Lake area of Danbury. The same was for a 41-year-old New Fairfield woman when the storms brought a tree down on her car. Police say a 3-year-old was in the car and appeared to be uninjured.
The National Weather Service surveyed Brookfield, where they say a macroburst hit. Here's their full statement: "Based on a National Weather Service storm survey, done inconjunction with the Connecticut State Police and the Town of Brookfield, it has been determined that a macroburst with maximum wind speeds of 110 mph impacted a swath about 3 miles in width and 9 miles in length from New Fairfield through Brookfield from about 437 PM EDT to 453 PM EDT. Numerous hardwood and pine trees were uprooted and snapped, with the most significant surveyed damage in Brookfield from the Candlewood Shores area, extending east across Route 7, to just north of the Senior High School, to Lake Lillinonah. Falling trees caused two fatalities, one in New Fairfield and another in Brookfield, and one serious injury via wind damage to the roof of a baseball dugout."
They then examined areas to the east, discovering that two different tornadoes struck central Connecticut. The first one was a tornado that moved from Southbury to Oxford, producing estimated winds of up to 100 mph on 4.2 mile long path. This tornado was recognized as an EF-1 on the Enhanced Fujita scale. It brought significant damage to Southbury, as shown in a couple of the photos below.
That first tornado then lifted up before a second one shortly thereafter dropped from the thunderstorm cloud. This tornado was on the ground for a long time, moving a total of 9.5 miles from Beacon Falls to Hamden. This was also an EF-1 tornado with winds of up to 110 mph.
There were also two different tornadoes that impacted Litchfield County, CT. That includes an EF-1 in Winsted, which was on the ground for 0.7 miles and an EFU tornado, which solely affected the Barkhamsted Reservoir. This tornado is not given a rank but is instead designated as an EFU because there was no damage due to its occurrence over non-marine water.
Governor Malloy toured the damage in Brookfield and held a press conference today: "To help with yesterday's storm, the CT Insurance Dept activated its emergency adjuster program to allow insurance companies to quickly register their out-of-state adjusters & bring them to the state to help w/ claims of property and auto damage." Malloy also has signed a Declaration of Civil Preparedness Emergency that will assist the state and its municipalities with response and recovery efforts. In addition to that, Malloy directed emergency management officials to begin the initial evaluation process to determine whether the federal thresholds to request a Major Disaster Declaration from President Trump can be met.
Newtown, Brookfield, and New Fairfield got particularly hit hard in our area. These towns experienced widespread power outages. At least 70% of these towns were without power once the storms passed. There have been numerous reports that have come in, claiming that many large trees were taken down. Residents say this was the worst storm they encountered in at least fifteen years:
A meteorologist in Newtown tweeted, "I would like to report possible tornado damage in Newtown CT about 3 min after the warning was issued @NWSNewYorkNY. I witnessed violently rotating updraft moments before going inside to basement for cover..."
A possible tornado affected parts of Ridgefield, ripping apart many trees and tipping them over into houses.
Credit: Noah Bergren
In Danbury, straight-line winds likely caused widespread damage, knocking down large trees like this one.
Photo credit: Kim Ribeiro
This car was no match for the strong winds in Westport.