‘Surgical strike’ tornado hits Middlebury

by Lou Varricchio

MIDDLEBURY | A fast-moving EF1 level tornado roared through a suburban Middlebury neighborhood March 26 uprooting trees, knocking down power lines, and damaging several homes.

The National Weather Service classified the Middlebury incident as an EF1 cyclone.

Two individuals have also reported injuries resulting from the storm.

A child, with minor injuries, was taken to UVM Porter Medical Center. The child’s condition was considered “non-life-threatening”. The second persona, an adult, was slightly injured and was not required to visit Porter.

Like a “surgical” bombing strike, the tornado hit the Painter Hills district of Middlebury around 2:05 p.m.

A single home received the cyclone’s wrath and was not inhabitable after the storm hit. A car was destroyed along with downed trees and widely scattered debris.

A Painter Hills eyewitness resident told a television news crew on the scene that the storm was fast-moving from west to east; thankfully his home was undamaged. The man reported the event, on the ground, lasted approximately 30 seconds. However, the National Weather Service noted the tornado last five minutes.

Werner Tree Farm when was in the line of fire. Comercial tree-grower Amanda Werner was slightly injured with a lacerated scalp.

Werner told reporters that she suffered a minor scalp laceration during the event from flying debris.

The “broiling” thunderstorm system which produced the short-lived tornado darkened the sky across much of northern Rutland County and most of Addison County. Areas received high winds and heavy rains while others reported only hearing rumblings and seeing dark clouds.

Over 4,000 customers of Green Mountain Power were affected by the storm’s effects with outages and scattered downed power lines.

By Saturday morning, power was returned and cleanup underway.

According to the National Weather Service the EF scale or Enhanced Fujita scale rates the intensity of tornadoes based on the damage they cause and is named after meteorologist Ted Fujita.

Middlebury’s EF1 tornado had winds between 86 mph and 110 mph considered by experts to produce “moderate damage”.

EF1 storms severely blow off roof shingles and battens, overturn and badly damage most mobile homes, blow out exterior doors and window glass.

Vermont Department of Financial Regulation (DFR) Commissioner Michael Pieciak reminded local residents impacted by the storm that DFR “stands ready to assist” with any insurance claims.

“Our thoughts are with those Vermonters who were injured and experienced damage to their homes and property as a result of the severe weather that swept through the state,” said Pieciak. “We stand ready to assist Vermonters with their insurance claims as they clean up and rebuild from these storms.”

Residents should contact the DFR consumer services team if they have any questions or issues. Call 800-964-1784 or email dfr.insuranceinfo@vermont.gov.

Republished from the March 28 Sun Community News.

Categories: Environment

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