A tornado touched down along the Foxborough-Easton town line Saturday night as powerful thunderstorms marched across Massachusetts, according to the National Weather Service.
The tornado reached a peak speed of 105 miles per hour, and it traveled a length of about 400 yards and a width of about 100 yards, according to Kyle Pederson, a meteorologist at the agency’s office in Norton.
More information will be available once the storm survey team finishes the full report, which will most likely be Sunday evening or Monday morning, Pederson said.
“They did find tornado damage along that Foxborough-Easton town line,” Pederson said.
The tornado is the second in recent days to strike New England. On Friday, the weather service confirmed a tornado touched down in Southwest New Hampshire, the Globe reported. It was also the second tornado to touch down in Massachusetts in 2023, the first being in North Brookfield on July 16, Pederson said.
Saturday’s tornado was fueled by thunderstorms so powerful it flooded roads, stranded motorists and downed trees and wires.
Several inches of rain were reported across communities in Eastern Massachusetts, it said.
Boston had 3.07 inches of rain on Saturday, said Frank Nocera, the lead meteorologist at NWS Boston.
“Boston had a record,” Nocera said Sunday morning. “It was the fifth wettest single day in the month of July. Records go back to 1872.”
The old record of 2.68 inches was set on July 17, 2018. The all-time record for wettest single day in July is 6.04 inches, which occurred July 9, 1921, according to the weather service.
Power outages on Saturday numbered over 1,000 at one point. By Sunday evening there were less than 400 customers statewide without power, according to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency’s online outage map.
The Boston Fire Department received over 500 calls Saturday , the department said in a tweet. Firefighter Brian Alkins, a department spokesman, said it was probably more than triple the number calls they usually get in a day.
Reports included flooding, leaking roofs and electrical issues due to wet wires. There was flooding reported on the Charles River Esplanade and streets in West Roxbury and Dorchester, Alkins said.
“Everything flooded quickly,” Alkins said. “The drains weren’t able to handle the volume of water.”
In Chelsea, fire crews rescued two people from their cars on a flooded road around 10 p.m., according to deputy chief Wayne Ulwick.
“On 2nd Street near Market Basket, we had a whole road flooded out and two people got taken out from their cars,” Ulwick said in a phone interview. “Their cars just shut down in the water, and I don’t think the water was that deep — just enough to shut their vehicles down.”
The West Bridgewater Fire Department responded to 10 reports of structural damage due to the storm, Firefighter Kevin Picher said in a phone interview.
“It was mostly from wind damage,” Picher said. “Telephone poles, tree limbs down — that type of stuff.”
At 9:48 p.m. Saturday night, the West Bridgewater Fire Department made a post on Twitter asking residents to stay inside and call 911 to report emergencies.
The #westbridgewater fire department is responding to multiple areas in town affected by the storm. Please stay indoors and call 911 to report an emergency or call @nationalgridus at 1-800-465-1212 to report a power outage. pic.twitter.com/hQ9IJ1Ars0— West Bridgewater Fire Dept. (@WBFD1910) July 30, 2023