Crews are still trying to cope with the damage left by a tornado that tore a path Wednesday afternoon from Rockwell Park to Middle Street.
The National Weather Service said the twister ripped off tree tops and plucked other trees right out of the ground as it cut for a mile and a half through the heart of Bristol, leaving a swath of debris but no injuries or deaths.
With a maximum wind speed of 90 miles an hour, the weather service rated the tornado a relatively mild one with a 25-yard wide path that began near the city’s historic West End park.
The worst-hit section, along Blakeslee Street, saw trees snapped and broken for much of its length.
City public works crews said they had a tough time cutting their way through a sea of fallen trees left by the tornado along the road that cuts between Federal Hill and Riverside Avenue, including the Huntington Woods complex.
The “shearing off and twisting of tree tops,” some flung in opposite directions, is characteristic of a small tornado, weather service experts said in a statement released late Thursday.
At Rockwell Park, trees were knocked to the ground along the outfield fence of Muzzy Field, the basketball court and elsewhere, but despite the widespread damage, none of the park’s buildings or major facilities got hit.
As the storm rolled into town, the sky turned ominously dark, the wind howled and rain fell with Biblical fervor, drenching low-lying areas and turning many Federal Hill streets into raging torrents.
On Riverside Avenue, the wind shoved a Dumpster several feet, according to T.J. Barnes, and on Main Street the waters gushing downhill were strong enough to carry off a Press vending box. Click here for full story.
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