The National Weather Service confirmed that a tornado touched down in Revere Monday morning causing extensive damage to homes and property and leaving in its path debris, downed trees and shaken residents.
The NWS saidon Twitter it has deployed meteorologists to the area after the Revere tornado was confirmed just after 9:30 a.m. No major injuries or fatalities were reported, but the city has declared a local state of emergency.
Damage assessment was still ongoing in order to determine the maximum tornado intensity and the length and width of the damage path, Revere officials said. The assessment was expected to be completed on Monday afternoon.
Kelly McLaughlin, 49, said she was in herCarlton Street home at 9:38 a.m. when suddenly she heard what sounded like a train or cement truck outside her window.
“I opened the curtains to see everything outside was going around in circles – trees were flying off like they were just little sticks,” said McLaughlin, who has lived in her home for 10 years.
McLaughlin and her daughter took shelter in the basement until the whirlwind came to an end - about four minutes later.
Forty-seven-year-old Carolina Morales, who lives on Ambrose Street, said she was panicked when the tornado shook her house, and scrambled to remove her 80-year-old mother from the shower.
“It was horrible. It was so scary,” said Morales, in tears.
She was able to take shelter with her elderly parents and her 17-year-old son in the family's basement, but when she emerged she was met with a devastating sight.
"I can’t stay at my house. I don’t know where I'll go. I can't move my car because of all the trees on the street," she said.
The tornado touched down shortly after a flash flood warning chimed through on residents' phones. It was the first instance of a confirmed tornado in Suffolk County since 1950, according to the NWS.
Around noon, Revere officials released a statement on its Facebook page saying that action was being taken.
We are in the process of evaluating the aftermath of the severe storm that passed through Revere this morning. Please remain off the main roads, especially Broadway and American Legion Highway. The City is working in conjunction with State and Federal agencies to clean-up and restore services. If you are experiencing an emergency please contact 911 immediately. Stay safe!
Later, around 1:25 p.m., Revere Police said many roads were opening up, but that traffic remained gridlocked.
"If possible, please continue to avoid the area so we can continue to respond," police said.
Tornadoes are uncommon in Massachusetts, although a large spate of storms in June 2011 badly damaged downtown Springfield, in the central part of the state, killing three people.
"Listen," said Morales as she ended her interview with Metro. "This is the time that you think about God."