DUBLIN, N.H. (WHDH) - The National Weather Service has confirmed that an EF1 tornado touched down in Cheshire County, New Hampshire on Thursday, causing damage in the area around Dublin.
The NWS sent a storm survey team to the region on Friday after storms swept through Thursday afternoon.
In an update, officials said the team saw damage consistent with an EF1 tornado bringing maximum winds between 90 and 95-miles-per-hour.
The National Weather Service shared preliminary information from its survey team early Friday afternoon. The team was still on scene in the Dublin area as of around 12:30 p.m., though, with a final damage assessment expected later in the day.
Cleanup efforts were underway, in the meantime, on Friday morning as crews cleared away downed trees at sites including the Dublin School.
“There’s a lot of damage right now through the middle of town here and people have to pick it up,” said Swifty Corwin III of Swift Tree Service.
The threat of storms on Thursday initially prompted a widespread severe thunderstorm watch in effect for most of southern New England. By mid-afternoon, video showed clouds swirling over Roxbury, New Hampshire, where the National Weather Service said one of its trained spotters saw a funnel cloud touch the ground around 3 p.m.
The National Weather Service had already issued a tornado warning for communities around Keene.
Moments after the spotter’s tornado sighting, at 3:03 p.m., doppler radar also detected possible debris in the air in the same area.
The National Weather Service recorded a series of damage reports on the ground near Keene. On the streets, 7NEWS crews spotted several downed trees, utility poles and wires in communities including Keene, Dublin, Roxbury and Marlborough.
Part of Route 101 was closed in the area as of around 5:15 p.m. due to debris in the roadway.
In Marlborough, several trees fell near Marlborough Auto Sales off Main Street, with some falling on cars in the used car lot. Another tree narrowly missed the Marlborough Auto Sales building itself.
In Dublin, crews on Friday morning said damage at the Dublin Shoot was the worst they had seen around town.
“We just felt this big flurry of wind and things started hitting the walls,” said Lucas Blohm, who sheltered in place at the school as the storm moved overhead Thursday.
Blohm was among a few dozen people attending music camp at Dublin School when the storm arrived. He said he and others ended up running into a basement.
Teacher Nicolas Ortiz was outside when the storm arrived. He said he saw trees falling down.
School officials said at least 50 trees fell in the area, forcing one building to be evacuated.
“We just saw kind of devastation everywhere,” said Rebekah Weisskopf.
Weisskopf said her family drove up to New Hampshire from Washington DC to see their daughter perform at camp.
After the storms, they were packing up their daughter’s dorm Thursday night after it was deemed unsafe to stay in.
Despite the devastation, staff at Dublin School said no one was hurt.
While cleanup crews had removed a large amount of debris in Dublin as of 9 a.m., Swift Tree Service personnel said it will take days to finish getting rid of downed trees.
“I was looking forward to a nice easy Friday, but that’s not the case,” Swifty Corwin III said. “We’re going to have a heavy duty weekend here.”
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