Thousands without power after tornado hits Cape Cod

EF1 tornado hits Cape Cod, leaving thousands without power

YARMOUTH, Mass. — An EF1 tornado rolled through Yarmouth and surrounding areas Tuesday morning, causing widespread wind damage and knocking out power to thousands, according to the National Weather Service.

The tornado, with strong winds reaching 110 mph, began in Yarmouth & ended in Harwich, according to the NWS.

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Radar data confirmed a tornado formed in the middle of a dangerous front that passed over the southern portion of Barnstable County on Cape Cod and the northern part of Martha's Vineyard.

NWS said the tornado struck Yarmouth just after noon on Tuesday. Harwich has declared a state of emergency.


Yarmouth Police Chief Frank Frederickson told Boston 25 News there were downed trees and some minor damage to buildings.

A wind gust of 69 mph was reported on Martha's Vineyard.

Over 30,000 customers were reporting power outages as of 4 a.m. Wednesday, according to MEMA.

By 7 p.m. Wednesday, there were 18,545 customers without power, according to MEMA.

In West Dennis on Tuesday night, block after block, all you could see was destruction left behind from the tornado.

Dolly Hickey and her friends are visiting from Leicester and were staying at a house in West Dennis when the tornado hit.

"Then the freight train, it just 'Whooo,' that was the end of it," Hickey said.

Her friend, Judy Bergin, said: "I thought it was a microburst. It had to be a Category 1 tornado."

They were carefully watching the path of the tornado, and reacted immediately.

"Then her husband called from Worcester, and said that it’s coming down on trotting lane," Bergin said.

Then, what they saw was unbelievable.

"Oh my God," Bergin said. "The car is buried in the backyard. The whole road was blocked."

Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito visited the hardest hit areas in West Dennis on Tuesday.

"The conditions are hazardous, in some of the communities because of the debris has taken down the power lines," Polito said.

Eversource officials said they're working as fast as they can.

"We want our customers to know, we have an army responding," said Eversource spokesman Reid Lamberty.

In the meantime, Arnold Lett was among residents staying in a local shelter, Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School.

"We had no electricity, of course. So I was on my portable oxygen," Lett said. "I would like to be here for an hour or two and go home."

Officials are asking people to clear out the roads so Eversource crews can work and get the power back up and running.

The Yarmouth Division of Natural Resources told Boston 25 News there were multiple sunken boats and downed trees as a result from the tornado. The Surfs and Sands Hotel in Yarmouth lost its roof after the powerful winds hit.

Uprooted trees were also seen strewn across yards and roads in the area.

No injuries were reported.