Residents of the seaside city of Revere, Massachusetts have been working around the clock since Monday morning, cleaning up after a rare EF2 tornado touched down there and did a substantial amount of damage. Revere, a city of over 50,000 is located just a few minutes from downtown Boston.
The tornado struck Monday morning just after 9am and came without warning. Many residents reported that they thought strong winds from a thunderstorm was what was causing trees to come down and debris to fly about. It was nothing short of a miracle that no one was killed by the powerful tornado that spent about 5 minutes on the ground, leaving a path of destruction that was 3/8 of a mile wide.
The tornado packed winds of about 120 miles per hour as it plummeted Revere. Many trees were uprooted and numerous large limbs fell, crushing homes, businesses and a countless number of vehicles. The twister did serious damage to dozens of homes and sent large sections of guardrails flying through the air. While it is still too soon to put a dollar figure on the damage done in Revere, insurers were going door to door Tuesday, helping affected residents tally up their losses.
Throughout the day Monday and all of Tuesday, work crews have been working on hauling large trees into chippers. Meanwhile residents and business owners have been busy picking up debris and sweeping up broken glass. In many parts of Revere, the destruction left behind by the powerful tornado resembles a war zone. There are large pieces of roofs laying about as well as a whole lot of debris. In addition to the tornado damage, the city of Revere also had some flood damage done as the thunderstorm that spawned the twister dumped 2 inches of rain. There was four feet of standing water in some parts of the city which submerged many vehicles.
Residents of Revere reported that the tornado seemed to have come out of nowhere as there was no warning. Many people reported that the twister sounded like a freight train or a bomb when it plowed through the community, ripping trees out of the ground and tearing roofs off buildings. The cleanup effort in Revere is expected to last for several days as there is a lot of work to be done.
Tornadoes are rare in Massachusetts. The tornado that wreaked havoc on Revere was the first tornado to touch down in Suffolk County since the 1950s. As of Tuesday night, most major roads in the Revere area have been cleared of debris and reopened. However, many side streets are still closed due to widespread debris. The Fire Chief of Revere said Tuesday that he expects the number of homes officially damaged by the tornado to exceed 100 as inspections go on. A shelter has been opened in the city for anyone needing it.