EF-1 tornado rips through Cape Cod communities
© WWLP
EF-1 tornado rips through Cape Cod communities, leaves thousands without power
Cape Cod was hit by a rare tornado Tuesday, the National Weather Service said.

There were reports of downed trees and power lines but no known injuries, Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency spokesman Christopher Besse said.

More than 50,000 customers were without power as of 6 p.m. ET, energy company Eversource said.

Of the 1,253 tornadoes that the United States has on average each year, Massachusetts sees only one, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; only Alaska and Rhode Island average none.

Video from CNN affiliate WHDH showed extensive damage to the Cape Sands Inn in West Yarmouth. Megan McGuire, who told the affiliate that she and her mother took shelter between beds at the inn, said she'd never seen anything like it in the 24 years she's been vacationing on Cape Cod.

"It was shocking," McGuire said.


The tornado touched down in Harwich and South Yarmouth, the state Emergency Management Agency said, citing the National Weather Service. Harwich has declared a local state of emergency.

The National Weather Service Boston Tuesday night gave the tornado a preliminary "high end" EF1 rating, with a maximum wind strength of 110 miles per hour. A final statement will be issued Wednesday, the service said.


A National Weather Service survey team will be meeting with emergency management officials on the cape to assess the damage, the service said on Twitter.Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito told reporters said crews are doing assessments.

"It is a miracle that there was no significant personal injury," she said.

CNN's Taylor Ward, Rebekah Riess and Chuck Johnston contributed to this report.