Major storms rolled through Wilton and Fairfield County Tuesday evening, leaving significant tree damage in isolated spots throughout town, and forcing emergency response officials to close several Wilton roads thanks to downed trees and wires. By 8:30 p.m., there were 228 Eversource customers without power, and residents were left wondering whether a tornado or microburst had possibly come through town.
Judging by pictures (see slideshow, below) sent by residents on Woods End Dr., near Thayer Pond Rd. on the west side of Wilton, something weather related had caused heavy damage, with trees and wires down and power outages aplenty. Woods End Dr. is on the west side of Wilton, near the border with New Canaan, where there were widespread reports of weather-related damage. Looking at the Eversource outage map around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday night, it appears that whatever weather system moved through Fairfield County used Wilton (228 outages), Norwalk (653 customer outages) and New Canaan (1,207 customers without power) as a corridor.
Indeed, the National Weather Service (NWS) had issued a tornado warning for the area from 5:30-6 p.m. Tuesday. That was around the time the NWS reported a “severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located over New Canaan, moving east at 20 mph.” In addition, the NWS warned of ping pong ball-sized hail and a radar indication of cloud rotation. The alert warned residents to take cover immediately.
As storms continued to move through the area, Wilton Police issued alerts throughout the later evening of road closures. Among those closed were Wolfpit Rd, Woods End Dr., Wild Duck Rd., Fenwood Ln., Spoonwood Rd. (with a transformer fire), Dudley Rd., Hurlbutt St., Wilton Acres, Stonebridge Rd., Skunk Ln., and eventually even Danbury Rd. between Westport Rd./Rte. 33 and Grumman Hill Rd. due to downed wires.
Reports trickled in that the Merritt Parkway had trees and wires down as well. And even GOOD Morning Wilton‘s home office got hammered, with a tree that fell and ripped the wires away from the house.
The National Weather Service kept the tornado watch active until midnight. Wilton CERT posted helpful information on Facebook about the differences between a ‘watch’ and a ‘warning,’ which helped explain the difference.