The National Weather Service is confirming a tornado touched down on Cape Cod Tuesday afternoon. It was an EF 1. What we don't know is whether it was one tornado that moved quickly and over a wide path, or two or three different tornadoes.
The twister was detected in South Yarmouth, and in Harwich. The Lt. Governor Karyn Polito overnight told reporters that people should stay off the roads. The aftermath is likely to be days rather than hours for cleanup as trees and power lines are down throughout the area.
Polito says part of the issue is that those that live here know the area and how to get around. But there are thousands of people on vacation this week on The Cape that don't have that knowledge.
Officials say it left behind widespread damage but miraculously no one was hurt.
Eversource reported more than 50 thousand of its customers were without power at one point:
Barnstable is down to 15 hundred customers without power.
Chatham the entire town is without power. More than 8300.
Harwich more than 10 thousand customers still without power.
Mashpee 13 hundred customers.
Sandwich 55 customers.
Yarmouth about 55 hundred customers---that’s about half the community.
The EF 1 Tornado packed winds of more than 110 miles per hour.
The town of Harwich declared a local state of emergency, and requested that Eversource cut off power to the area.
Yarmouth's post office sustained heavy damage.
In Chatham, the Redemption Rock Church posted a photo of their steeple, damaged by the storm-but the church itself was not affected. Many roads are impassible there.
The agency reminds residents to avoid downed power lines and assume they are live, call 911 to report them, call their utility company to report outages, and keep generators outside and away from buildings.
State Police officials say at least a dozen extra teams have been sent to the cape.