Rare EF2 tornado hits Revere, Massachusetts

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

File photo of Revere City Hall, one of the buildings damaged in the tornado.
Image: John Phelan.

A rare tornado ranked EF2 on the Enhanced Fujita scale struck the city of Revere, Massachusetts around 9:30 am local time (1330 UTC) on Monday, causing a swath of destruction over two miles (about three km) long and 3/8th of a mile (about 6/10 km) wide as winds topped around 120 mph (about 190 kph). The tornado began at the border of Revere and neighboring Chelsea, Massachusetts and traveled along the street of Broadway in Revere, according to the National Weather Service's preliminary report.

Over 65 buildings have been damaged, according to officials, reportedly including Revere's city hall, an ice rink, and an auto body business which had its roof ripped off. Thirteen buildings are reported to be uninhabitable. Partial building and roof collapses along with downed power lines and trees were reported through the city. Cars were crushed by trees or flipped over. Nevertheless, no serious injuries or deaths were reported in the densely populated city.

Revere mayor Dan Rizzo said, "We were very, very fortunate to have no casualties and just some minor injuries from this monumental storm that took us all by surprise". Rizzo added, "Given the magnitude of the storm, it’s really a miracle that no one sustained more serious injuries". Revere Police are urging people to avoid the city until further notice as clean up begins. A shelter has been opened at the Rumney Marsh Academy school.

The tornado is the first to strike the Boston area since records were first kept in 1950.