A microburst with winds blowing from 90 to 100 miles per hour rampaged through Bedford on Monday, toppling dozens of trees, the National Weather Service said.
The microburst “carved a path across the center of the town,” blowing trees down in a northwest to southeast direction, the weather service said in a statement.
Fifty to 70 treees were blown down, most of them pine trees that were 100 feet tall. Approximately eight fell onto houses, causing significant damage, the weather service said.
The Hilltop Drive and Hemlock Lane areas were particularly hard hit with more than two dozen pine trees knocked down there alone.
“There was about 60 to 90 seconds of intense wind and rain, the likes of which I have never seen,” said Raphael Bustin, a resident of Hilltop Drive. “It was pretty interesting.”
Frank Kuhn, also of Hilltop Drive, said he lost five of his “healthiest, biggest, fullest” trees to the wind. “I was saying to my wife, how foolish we were standing in front of our windows watching like deer in headlights,” Kuhn said. “It was only 10 minutes and it was all over.”
A resident of Paul Revere Road said her home was hit by a tree.
“I didn’t even know until the neighbor rang the bell,” she said in a telephone interview. “There’s a big hole in the roof and my whole bedroom is just covered” with debris. The woman said lightning struck the tree, splitting it in half and causing it to fall.
A microburst is a sudden downdraft during a severe thunderstorm causing a swath of damage less than 2.5 miles long.
The weather service said that many other towns in Eastern Massachusetts suffered wind damage Monday, and it is likely several microbursts occurred around the area, said meteorologist Eleanor Vallier-Talbot. There were no eyewitness reports of a tornado.
The forecasters noted, however, there were many sightings of what appeared to be a funnel cloud in the Medford and Malden areas around 6 p.m.
In Winchester, a lightning strike started a fire in a home on Keenan Drive, said Winchester Fire Chief John Nash. “There was damage to the roof and two interior rooms, as well as smoke and water damage,’’ the chief said today.
Damage, including fallen trees and wires, “was widespread over about 50 percent of the community,’’ said Nash, who added no injuries were reported.
It’s possible that the damaging storms could make another appearance across the region tonight and Wednesday afternoon, the weather service said.
“It’s not going to be widespread, but if something gets going, it could be similar to yesterday,” said Weather Service meteorologist Bill Simpson. “These storms could be pretty good.” Heavy downpours, large hail and damaging winds are possible, the weather service said.
“If they get started — if and when — they can really take off,” Simpson said.Kiera Blessing can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.