Upton, MA – Two tornadoes, both of EF-1 intensity as reported by the National Weather Service, struck various locations in Worcester Country on the morning of Thursday, July 26th.
The tornadoes began at approximately 2:30 in the morning. The first tornado traveled from Douglas to Uxbridge, and finally to Northbridge, MA, with a length of about 4.4 miles and a maximum width of 200 yards. The second tornado reached Upton with a 1 mile length and 100 yard maximum width. The maximum wind speeds of both tornadoes reached 100 miles per hour. Damage was caused to houses, power lines, and trees, leading to the closing of Route 140 on Main Street until 7:00 a.m. The destruction occurred only in the regions of Main St close to Warren St, Hartford Ave South, Ephraim's Way, and Centennial Court. No apparent civilian injury occurred; however, the effects of the tornadoes did harm ten to twelve Douglas homes and ten Upton homes (one Upton home was severely damaged).
In one Main St. home, the roof separated from the rest of the building due to the wind, and was subsequently flung onto a neighboring residency. Erik Grubb, a resident in the house where the roof was ripped off, recalled that "the wind kept building and it was like a freight train … it kept building and building and then there was a weird grind and bang." Richard Fenner, another resident who experienced property damage, described the fear he felt while experiencing the effects of the tornado:
"I didn't know what was happening … Like, like all of a sudden, just like what the? And then I couldn't find my way out. I'm dying right here, I thought."
While the tornadoes subsided as the day went on, bouts of storms continued periodically throughout the area. Forecasters are also predicting sustained humidity throughout the next few days, and that more storms and rainfall will come to Central Massachusetts and beyond as we continue into the weekend. While there remains the possibility of harsher thunderstorms and rainfall, it appears that these effects will be contained to Western MA.