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Storm cleanup continues; tornado confirmed in Lincoln

New Hampshire Union Leader

June 19. 2018 9:28PM
Irene Docos gestures while walking around the base of an uprooted tree that fell on her North Street house in Manchester during Monday night's storm. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)

A large white pine fell between two Manchester houses during Monday night’s storm, damaging a a fence and swing set on Hemlock Street. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)

Irene Docos was upset when a strong thunderstorm split part of a tree, which landed on her black SUV Monday.

Then she spotted worse damage.

Strong winds also uprooted a large ash tree, which fell on the roof of her Colonial-style home at the corner of North and Russell streets in Manchester.

“I started bawling my eyes out,” Docos said Tuesday outside her North Street home. “I couldn’t believe it.”

Irene Docos, right, is comforted by her sister, Doris Gottier, in front of her house on North Street in Manchester, which was hit by a large tree uprooted during Monday night’s storm. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)

Powerful thunderstorms that rolled across the state Monday knocked out power to tens of thousands of homes and businesses. Eversource reported its peak outage of more than 80,000 customers happened about 7 p.m. Monday. That number was down to a few thousand Tuesday night.

“We anticipate most of our customers will be restored by tonight. Work to restore some single-customer outages in the hardest-hit communities, such as Keene and Derry, may continue into Wednesday,” Eversource spokesman Kaitlyn Woods said Tuesday.

Tornado in Lincoln

The National Weather Service confirmed a tornado had touched down near Lincoln, but it hit in a remote area and isn’t believed to have caused any significant damage.

The weak tornado was captured on video by a hiker on Mount Pemigewasset just before 3:30 p.m. — about the time warnings were issued after radar indicated a possible tornado. 

“It looked like it was just out on the mountains out there. If there was any damage it was probably just some trees and ripped off branches,” said William Watson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine.

Watson said no assessment teams were sent to the area because the tornado was confirmed by the video and matched the radar signature at the time.

Watson said the weather service hasn’t confirmed images of what appeared to be a funnel cloud in the Durham area. He said it didn’t appear that there was any rotation in a video of the storm.

“It could be a low-hanging cloud that often looks like a descending funnel cloud,” he said.

Durham resident Shannon Keyes snapped a photo of what she believes was a funnel cloud as she was walking back to her vehicle. Keyes, an administrative court assistant at Rockingham County Superior Court, was at the outdoor pool at the University of New Hampshire after work when she spotted the unusual sight.

“It was very short-lived, but it did look like it was starting to swirl,” she said.

Keyes said she knew the forecast called for rain and a possible thunderstorm, but she wasn’t aware of the tornado warnings for storms earlier in the day in the North Country.

Cleanup crews out

In Manchester, yellow tape kept people from walking through several downed trees in Oak Park along Maple Street. Manchester parks crews worked with Eversource and police to make sure roads were cleared by Tuesday morning.

“The parks division of the public works department responded to just over 15 trees within the streets and other trees within other city properties, including parks,” said DPW Director Kevin Sheppard.

A block from Docos’ home, John DiCroce was cleaning up tree debris outside his home at the corner of North and Hemlock streets.

“The wind came up and was probably over in a minute,” DiCroce said, estimating it at 75 to 80 mph.

Not far from DiCroce’s house, a large tree crashed onto playground set on Hemlock Street. Some trees he saw downed in his neighborhood he “never thought would come down,” DiCroce said.

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