REVERE, Mass. — A storm system that wreaked havoc across the eastern half of the U.S. spawned a tornado just north of Boston on Monday, causing extensive damage in Revere, where roofs were ripped off buildings and dozens of large trees were uprooted.
Officials in Revere said there were no immediate reports of serious injuries, but several people suffered minor injuries, including a baby who was in a car and hurt by flying glass and an elderly woman who suffered cuts.
“Given the magnitude of the storm, it’s really a miracle that no one sustained more serious injuries,” said Revere Mayor Dan Rizzo.
“In talking with our emergency management personnel, nobody has ever seen damage like what we experienced this morning,” he added.
The tornado — spawned by a powerful storm that moved through the Boston area shortly after 9 a.m. — caused severe damage through the central corridor of the city.
“We have about 65 buildings that were substantially damaged, thirteen of those are uninhabitable. Those include some businesses along the Broadway stretch,” Revere Fire Chief Gene Doherty said Monday afternoon. “There was about a 3 square mile area that got hit.”
Deputy Fire Chief Mike Viviano said the department received dozens of calls reporting partial building and roof collapses, and downed trees and power lines.
“The community of Revere should know, as other communities have from our experiences elsewhere, that we’re going to do whatever we need to and whatever we can to help them stand up again,” Gov. Deval Patrick said Monday.
Paul and Patty Carrabes said they were both at work when the wind tore the roof off their home.
“I probably would have died if I was in there,” Patty Carrabes said.
Paul Carrabes said the house has been condemned.
“When I got here and saw this, it looks like — I hate to say it — a war zone, but it was just unbelievable,” he said. “The house has been in the family over 60 years. It really hurts.”
Bob Cronin, the city’s sealer of weights and measures, said he was in City Hall when the tornado hit.
Cronin said City Hall was damaged, as were a number of businesses. One auto body shop had its roof ripped clean off, Cronin said.
“This isn’t something you expect to happen when you wake up in the morning,” he said.
The National Weather Service’s office in Massachusetts said it was the first tornado in Suffolk County since the agency began keeping records on them in 1950.
Rizzo said City Hall was evacuated due to damage and will likely be closed for a couple of days.
The city has opened a shelter at the Rumney Marsh Academy, emergency officials said.
With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom