National Weather Service team investigating possible tornado in Kent

Photo of Sandra Diamond Fox
Eversource Energy workers in Berlin

Eversource Energy workers in Berlin

Brian A. Pounds / Hearst Connecticut Media

KENT — Following reports of significant storm damage Wednesday afternoon, a team from the National Weather Service was dispatched Thursday around 8 a.m. to investigate whether a tornado touched down.

The team will be meeting with Kent emergency management personnel and police, according to lead meteorologist Brian Montgomery.

Weather officials did not disclose the exact area they would be investigating on Thursday.

The NWS issued a tornado warning for the Litchfield County area Wednesday, based upon reports they received through social media, through media partnerships and emergency management.

“They indicated there was a quite a bit of damage in that particular area so based on that information, we have decided to dispatch our personnel down there to investigate it and determine if indeed it was or was not a tornado,” Montgomery said.

He added if the team finds there was no tornado, it will be able to determine approximately how fast the wind speeds were during Wednesday’s event. He is expected to receive a report of the investigation by Thursday afternoon.

During a tornado investigation, many factors are examined in order to determine if a tornado touched down in an area.

“We look at many things on the ground — buildings, trees and the debris that’s left behind — what has not been disturbed,” Montgomery said.

Additionally, the team interviews and investigates those who experienced the event firsthand.

They gather all of that information together, and based on the damage they see through computer programs, they can make their analysis. The findings from the investigation will be useful to the NWS, Montgomery said, for many reasons.

“Not only from an insurance perspective for those who were impacted by the events but also from a verification perspective and research perspective,” he said.

By federal law, the NWS issues storm data, which is available for every significant event that happens across the country, according to Montgomery.

“For us to satisfy that information, we have to investigate it and then we put our findings into an official document which is used by many researchers, insurance companies, and adjusters,” Montgomery said. “That data gets certified 90 days after the event occurs.”

He said there last was a tornado event in Kent on Aug. 7, 2020.

Weather updates can be found on Albany, NY (weather.gov) and Storm Events Database | National Centers for Environmental Information (noaa.gov)

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