Possible tornado touchdown in Litchfield County

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The National Weather Service says it is possible a tornado touched down in Litchfield County late Sunday afternoon.

The announcement comes after the organization issued a tornado watch for most of the state.

The NWS issued the watch for Fairfield, New Haven, Litchfield, Middlesex, Hartford and Tolland counties. It said the watch is in effect until 10 p.m. Sunday.

In northwestern Connecticut, there were reports of the heavy wind causing trees to fall. Connecticut State Police said there were no calls about injuries or property damage from the possible touchdown.

According to Norfolk police, a couple on North Street reported heavy winds and rain unlike anything they had seen. Police said the couple retreated to their basement during the heaviest winds and emerged to find several trees down on their property.

On its website, the NWS says it determines if a tornado occurred based on the pattern of damage, not how much damage was caused. It says tornado damage often has a chaotic appearance, with larger uprooted trees often crossing each other.

“We often look at larger uproots of trees to get a true idea of where the wind was blowing from,” the NWS said. “Smaller branches (and) snapped trees are not as helpful, as they may fall based on the tree itself and not where the wind was coming from.”

The watch was issued as Connecticut prepares for Tropical Storm Isaias to arrive later this week. Isaias is now off the coast of southeastern Florida and is expected to reach the New York City area on Tuesday, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The storm is expected to bring heavy rains to southern Connecticut Tuesday night, with thunderstorms and tropical storm conditions possible. Federal meteorologists say Isaias is expected to dump 2 to 4 inches of rain on southeastern New York and much of New England.

“Heavy rainfall from Isaias could result in potentially life-threatening flash flooding in the Bahamas and flash and urban flooding along the East Coast of the United States,” the National Hurricane Center said Sunday. “Minor to isolated moderate river flooding is possible across portions of the Carolinas and Mid-Atlantic.”

Municipal leaders, including those in Bridgeport and Ridgefield, are asking for their communities to prepare to shelter in place and to stock up on necessities such as food, water and prescriptions.

by Josh LaBella (2020, Aug 2) New Haven Register

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Kyrie Wagner