Witnesses Share Footage of Twister in Bridgewater on Saturday, Did You See It?
The Greater Danbury area was hit by severe storms on Saturday evening and some places got hit worse than others.
Eyewitnesses are saying the Bridgewater/Roxbury line was an area where things were particularly bad. On Monday morning (08/14/23) we received a call from the I-95 Morning Show Meteorologist Jack Drake who offered to do a report on the the weather event. Below are the highlights of our discussion with Jack.
I-95:So we had ourselves a little weather event in Bridgewater over the weekend, tell us about it...
Jack Drake: "Yeah, I mean a nasty storm overall it came in, rolled in late for severe weather it came in around 9 pm Saturday night. It came in from New York and it had a nasty rotational wind signature on it when it was in Putnam County and I was concerned the damage was going to be a lot worse over the Danbury/New Fairfield area but it turned out it wasn't too too bad. There were some trees down in New Fairfield from streamline winds and then as it moved East, it had a little bit of a spin-up on it and there is pretty good video, pretty good pictures coming in from the Bridgewater/Roxbury line a potential tornado or at least a funnel cloud. I'm told the National Weather Service will be going down there today (08/14/23) to investigate and do an official storm survey. So, we'll get an official report out of that area."
I-95: What qualifies as a tornado, they're going to go do this investigation, what are they looking for?
Jack Drake: "They're looking for any sort of storm damage generally tree damage with the weaker spin-up type tornadoes. But they're looking for anything that looks like it was twisted or trees that have fallen in a pattern that is consistent with tornadoes usually they're kind of converging in a line instead of being blown straight."
I-95: You sent us a picture, can you make that determination by looking at a picture of the storm damage?
Jack Drake: "Well it's really tough because this is a nighttime tornado, I think this thing would have looked awesome if it was like you know, three hours earlier when it was daylight. So, in the pictures and the videos the only way you can see it is when it's illuminated by lighting. So you get these split seconds where the tornado is illuminated by lightning and then it's not so it's hard to see the exact dynamics of what is going on. Is the funnel reaching the ground completely? Is there any debris near it? If it was during the day I think it would be easy to make that determination and call it a tornado but it's tough, it's at night a little bit. Now, the eyewitness that I talked to and these were guys out, checking out the storm in the fields in Bridgewater on Town Line Road there. It's a beautiful area I took a drive up there yesterday and they swear that the thing was rotating and it was rotating at them like a scene out of Twister. The guy sounded legit, I'll take his word for it but the NWS (National Weather Service) are the only ones that can actually clarify that there was actually a tornado there."
UPDATE: Our conversation with Jack Drake took place prior to the National Weather Service Investigation into the twister. According to Metro News 24/7, the NWS has officially confirmed that a "tornado touched down near Roxbury in Litchfield County last Saturday evening. The short-duration tornado measured an E-F-Zero, which means it had wind gusts between 65 and 85 miles per hour."
I-95: No one was hurt in this storm?
Jack Drake: "Nobody was hurt, I did speak to one of the owners, one of the workers at the farm in the area, really nice lady and she said she had a little bit of tree damage in one of her fields but didn't have any structural or fence or barn damage or anything like that. Like I said it's Bridgewater, it's all these open fields, open farms you know there is a cow farm up there and then it's densely wooded behind it so it's really difficult to kind of see what actually happened up there. It's not like a residential neighborhood and go road by road and say oh it came over here and then it did this. You almost need a drone to really do a survey."
Listen to the full discussion with Jack Drake below.
I spoke to Jack again after the show on Monday and he said he would share updates from the NWS when he receives them. Follow Jack Drake on Facebook @Danbury Weather for weather and news updates.