WESTPORT, CT (WPIX)—For the second time in less than a month, federal meteorologists are in Connecticut, trying to determine whether or not a tornado struck.
Westport, about 40 miles northeast of New York City, and Litchfield in Northerwestern Connecticut are where National Weather Service investigators are Thursday. Residents there are looking at the same evidence as the federal meteorologists.
"My theory is that it was a tornado," Westport resident Jim Iseman told PIX 11 News, as he pointed up to some treetops near his home. "See how the trees are sheared off? That's how it's determined that it's a tornado."
Sheared off trees littered about a dozen streets and roads near the center of the Fairfield County town, shutting them down overnight. At least two streets remained shut Thursday morning because of downed trees and power lines.
If this was a tornado, it would be the second one in less than a month in Southern Connecticut. On June 24th, a tornado hit Bridgeport, ten miles east of Westport, collapsing or partially collapsing two buildings and blowing off the roof of another building. This is by no means Tornado Alley. Connecticut averages 1.5 tornadoes statewide every year. To possibly have two so close together geographically in the same month is statistically unusual.
"I think it's the humidity," Westport resident Craig Barney said. "There have been only three days without it being really hot. When you get that kind of weather it leads to more violent storms," he told PIX 11 News.
Violent storms struck across the Tri-State, from Orange County, New York, 40 miles northwest of New York City, to Suffolk County, 50 miles east. A 19 year old young woman in Orange County was struck by lightning and wind gusts up to 65 miles an hour were reported in a wide variety of locations. Also, weatherwatchers and meteorologists reported widespread hailstorms, with some of the hail as big as hen's eggs, according to the National Weather Service. It's all left towns and residents across the Tri-State trying to clean up.