April 06, 2020
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North Berwick cleans up after tornado

NORTH BERWICK – Dozens of homeowners had weekend cleanup chores in the aftermath of a Friday tornado.

About 40 homes felt the effects, but only two sustained major damage, according to Bob Bohlmann, director of the York County Emergency Management Agency. No one was injured.

Bohlmann estimated that damage to roofs, windows and other property totaled between $100,000 and $125,000.

The intensity of the tornado, which hit around 3 p.m. Friday, was classified as a strong F1 on the Fujita scale with maximum winds on touchdown estimated at between 100 and 110 miles per hour, according to John Jensenius of the National Weather Service office in Gray.

A path of damage extended for more than a mile, with a maximum width of about 200 yards, according to Jensenius, who surveyed the area Saturday and found debris scattered in opposite directions.

“It’s a nightmare on Elm Street,” said Connie Lee on Saturday after a night without power. Trees on her 60 Elm St. property were upturned and a small shed was upside down.

“We had the most beautiful yard,” Lee said. “Years of work.”

Residents said the impact of the tornado was sudden.

“I guess it happened so quick that I didn’t have time to be scared,” said Don Staples.

The weather service said Maine averages about two tornadoes a year.

Wet from a passing storm, the Maine Turnpike was backed up for miles late Friday afternoon following a chain-reaction accident involving more than 15 vehicles.

Maine State Police said about 15 cars and four tractor-trailers were involved in the accident, according to Maine Turnpike Authority spokesman Dan Paradee. No major injuries were reported.


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