My interest in meteorology was spurred by my brother who became a volunteer for a weather center years ago. I learned most of what I know about weather patterns, jet streams, etc. from him.
Early on the morning of June 24, 2010, I listened to the NOAA Radio forecast in New York and learned about the threat of severe weather hitting Bridgeport. Through out the day, I listened to the EyeWitness News Station on CableVision because it has a radar map that shows the weather moving into CT. During the afternoon, I heard reports on NOAA radio of severe weather hitting the New York City area.
But I never expected what happened. I guess nobody did. Tornadoes rarely hit this area. In fact, before June 24, 2010; I have no recollection of any tornado hitting Bridgeport nor Stratford.
According to Meteorologist Bill Jacquemin of the radio station WICC, the thunderstorms hit the area somewheres around 2:30 PM. For those who are interested, here is my reference for this information:
So I guess it was somewhere around two o’clock when I first saw the severe weather on the radar screens of the Cablevision station titled “Eyewitness News Now.” I also heard the reports of it on NOAA radio.
Actually I wasn’t aware of the tornado until a bit later. When I heard the first loud roars of thunder, I turned off and unplugged the air conditioner, shut down my computer and the TV set. I left the fans running because it was a bit muggy on the second floor of this brick building. I heard the wind roaring and then heard sounds of tree branches cracking. All electrical power went out.
I found the flash light and ran down the stairs. Looking out the front door I saw tree branches all over the front lawn. Some of the branches were very thick. One thick branch was laying on top of a partially crushed station wagon parked across the street. At the southern edge of the brick building, I saw the wires hanging down from the telephone pole. One wire had been ripped off. I walked to the corner of the building and looked at the thick branch laying on the wires. In the parking lot, a car roof had been smashed by a heavy branch. All the windows had been broken and the hood was dented.
I ran back up stairs and walked into the bedroom. “Joyce,” I said, “Come down stairs and take a look. You won’t believe what happened.” Joyce was in the bedroom when it struck. She later told me it sounded like a train roar.
We went outside. Someone came around with pictures of the destruction that took place in the area. Another person claimed he saw a tornado wisp up the center of the road.
When I saw a child who was bit too close to a downed power line, I warned the parents that the line might still be hot. They immediately pulled the child back and instructed the child to stay away from the line.
I noticed that some parts of the road were clean enough to drive through. My wife and I took took a ride to Burger King and had a meal. When we got back, the police were telling everyone to go back inside their homes. I went upstairs and then came back down and sat on the back porch. Power was not restored until nearly 24 hours later.
According to the CT Post Internet article published on June 24, 2010 at 11:26 PM, there were and I quote “
It was never confirmed that the tornado came up the street I live on. But people who saw it said it was a tornado. There was plenty of damage in the areas of Bridgeport and Stratford where the tornado reportedly made a direct hit. My wife and I were very lucky that it went straight up the center of the street. I never found out the exact path it took. And the only damaged suffered was a gouge in the back of the air conditioner and minor damage to the gutter and roof. I’m glad the heavy branches didn’t land on the roof. Every time I see the remains of complete neighborhoods (on TV) in other areas of the US after tornadoes, I realize how blessed and lucky we were.