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Tornadoes confirmed in Worcester County after storms

Strong storm winds blew the roof off a Main Street residence in Upton early Thursday morning.
Strong storm winds blew the roof off a Main Street residence in Upton early Thursday morning.Upton Police Department

Central Massachusetts was hit by two EF-1 tornadoes in the early morning hours of Thursday, the National Weather Service said.

The first touched down around 2:32 a.m. Thursday. It traveled 4.4 miles from Douglas to Uxbridge to Northbridge and had a 200-yard width. It had a maximum wind speed of 100 miles per hour.

“Eyewitnesses heard a loud roar for about 30 seconds” in East Douglas, the weather service said in a statement.

The second, spawned from the same storm, touched down around 2:41 a.m. Thursday. It landed in Upton and traveled 1 mile with a 100-yard width, the weather service said. It had a maximum wind speed of 100 miles per hour, the weather service said.

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No deaths or injuries were caused by either tornado.

The weather service made the determination after an on-the-ground survey of the damage.

In Upton, the fierce storm knocked down trees, damaged homes, and killed power for some 19 percent of the community, according to authorities.

No injuries were reported in Upton, but the storm so heavily damaged a residential property on Main Street that 10 people were forced to evacuate, according to the Upton Fire Department.

The storm caused a section of a roof to detach from the Main Street residence, a tree to fall onto a parked pickup truck, and power lines to fall onto Main Street, police said.

Main Street — also known as Route 140 — was closed early Thursday as crews worked to clear the roadway, the town’s emergency management office tweeted.

Main Street was reopened around 7 a.m., according to a tweet by Upton police.

“Main St now open to traffic. Storm damage isolated to section of Main St, Warren St & Ephraims Way,” police tweeted. “10 residents displaced from damaged home will be assisted by @RedCrossMA. @nationalgridus working to restore existing outages. DPW working to clear obstructed roadways.”

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According to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, 19 percent of National Grid customers in Upton were without power as of 8 a.m. Outages were reported on West Upton, Mechanic, and Merriam streets, along with Glen Avenue and Hartford Avenue South, police tweeted.

In Douglas, numerous large maple and oak trees were reportedly knocked down on Maple Street in East Douglas, according to the weather service. Some of the trees landed on homes.

In Uxbridge, a tree fell over and knocked down power lines on West Hartford Avenue, Fire Chief Bill Kessler said. Power was out for about nine hours.

A tree limb also fell on a chicken coop and shed in a resident’s backyard on Sutton Street, Kessler said. None of the chickens were injured.

A Northbridge fire lieutenant said four or five trees were knocked down and debris was scattered onto the high school football field.


Travis Andersen of the Globe Staff contributed to this report. John R. Ellement can be reached at ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.