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Tornado rips through Revere

Massachusetts town of Revere hard hit by surprise tornado

July 28, 2014

A tornado left sections of the Massachusetts town of Revere just north of Boston

ravaged this morning, with multiple building collapses, possible gas leaks, power lines down, trees uprooted and cars overturned.

A series of severe thunderstorms across the Boston area caused the unexpected tornado. Officials reported destruction of roofs and severed flooding in the streets. No injuries have been reported, a fact that Mayor Dan Rizzo called a “miracle” taking into account the size of the storm.

It was the first time in at least 64 years that a tornado had hit the community just north of Boston, the National Weather Service said. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Rizzo.

Fire Chief Gene Doherty said 100 incidents were reported in the space of an hour, including roofs torn off homes and a baby injured by glass when a tree fell on the car the infant was in on Mountain Avenue.

“We’re fortunate when this did occur most people had already left for work,” he said.

Rizzo said it appeared that the storm had come up through the city’s central business district and surrounding neighborhoods, with homes both east and west of Broadway sustaining damage.

There was no warning at all,” Rizzo said. “We don’t have a local tornado warning system. It took everybody by surprise.

The mayor asked people to refrain from calling 911 unless they have an emergency such as fallen power lines or trees blocking roads.

Officials said they were preparing a shelter at a middle school, in case anyone needed it.

Scott MacLeod, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, said, “Local officials are still neck-deep in the damage assessment process” in Revere.

MacLeod said the agency had deployed a number of staff to assist. Local and state building inspectors are also in the area to determine if damaged structures are safe, he said.

No tornado has hit Suffolk County, which includes just Revere, Boston, Winthrop, and Chelsea, since records began being kept in 1950, according to the National Weather Service. The last tornado in Essex County, north of Boston, and Middlesex County, north and west of Boston, both of which are much larger geographically, were in 1991 and 1986, respectively, the weather service said.

The National Weather Service has confirmed the damage was indeed caused by a tornado.

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