Emergency declared as crews assess tornado damage in Harwich

HARWICH, MASS. (WHDH) - More than 90 percent of electric customers are without power in Harwich after a tornado ripped through the area Tuesday, causing officials to declare a local state of emergency.

A number of streets in Harwich were impassable after strong winds sent trees, utility poles and live wires across streets and on top of cars and homes, leaving behind a wake of damage and nearly 10,000 people without power.

Following severe weather Monday night, the town was hit a second time after the National Weather Service says a tornado touched down in South Yarmouth just after 12 p.m. on Tuesday.

Multiple trees were ripped up from the root and came crashing down onto three homes on Lover’s Lane.

“Before we went down into the basement, we were in the hallway and then we heard a large crack,” Mike Dooley who was on vacation in a family member’s home said. “Then we got down in the basement and when we came up, just every window that you looked out of, you saw a different tree down. First, we thought it was just one or two, but we had no idea it was the whole area.”

Joe, a tree expert who lives along Main Street, estimates that more than 100 trees fell in his neighborhood over the course of just 10 minutes.

“I think you could spend days on this street without leaving at this point,” he said. “This is just the beginning and everywhere you turn there is just trees down.”

A massive 100-year-old tree toppled onto a set of powerlines before pulling the roof off a man’s home on Parallel Street.

Road closures caused heavy traffic delays on Route 39 from the rotary all the way to John Joseph Road.

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency in accordance with local police are urging residents to stay home while utility crews work to repair the damage.

No injuries have been reported.

MEMA has partially activated a state of emergency to support the Cape Cod communities that have been impacted.

It is unclear when the power will be restored to the area.

A Red Cross staging area has opened at the Harwich Community Center and the police and fire stations are offering food and electricity to those who may need it, police say.

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