Microburst In Easthampton, Massachusetts Seriously Damages 3 Houses

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It was quite a scare for residents in the Western Massachusetts town of Easthampton when an storm early Wednesday morning ripped through part of town.

Many residents said the storm, which had winds of up to 75 mph, felt like a tornado.

The National Weather Service said it was only straight-line winds, but the agency still sent a survey team to scope out the damage. The NWS classified the storm in Easthampton as a "microburst."

Easthampton Fire Chief David Mottor says around 5:00 a.m. Wednesday residents in town first reported down power lines and trees on Route 141, or Mountain Road, making the main route between Easthampton and Holyoke impassible.

Mottor says the storm caused serious damage to three houses and knocked out power to others, but there were no injuries.

"It was straight-line but seems more than micro-burst," said Cherri Polito, a Easthampton resident.

Polito woke up with a maple tree across her backyard.

"My husband and I were sleeping and we heard the thunder and all the sudden we heard a freight train," said Polito.

The storm sheered the tops of trees over roughly a half-mile stretch, along with the Easthampton side of Mount Tom.

One home  had three trees uprooted in its yard.

"Nothing like I've ever seen before," said Easthampton resident Joan Judge.

Helicopters swarmed the area to assess damage during the entire afternoon.

The town's fire chief says it could have been a lot worse if blew through later in the day.

"We have approximately 20,000 vehicles that travel this road every morning, had this happen anytime after rush hour, I would have expected fatalities and injuries," said Mottor.

Brian LaMore became stranded in his Mini Cooper while driving to work on Mountain Road--the street remained closed throughout the day.

"The wind just started driving very hard, and lifted my car up and back down then all the sudden there was a tree in front of him and tree behind me," said LaMore.

The Red Cross was also on-scene to help hand out mobile meals to anyone who needs them.

The National Weather Service says the microburst did not affect any part of Connecticut.

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