National Weather Service says two touched down Thursday

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After investigating damage from a storm system Thursday that cut trees and damaged homes around Harrington and Milford, the National Weather Service said two tornadoes hit the area late Friday.

The weather service confirmed the first tornado in the afternoon on Friday, while officials were still assessing the area. It started near Farmington, south of Harrington. The weather service confirmed that a second tornado touched down east of Milford.

Neither tornado caused injuries, the weather service said. Both were EF1 tornadoes, bringing winds from 86 to 110 mph.

The tornado that started near Farmington had estimated peak winds of 90 mph. It started at 4:52 pm and was about 50 meters wide. It traveled less than 4 miles and ended near Houston about three minutes later, the weather service said.

The tornado was caused after “an embedded severe thunderstorm interacted with a sea breeze and a remnant of the outflow boundary,” the weather service said.

Heather Haneline, who lives south of Harrington, said Thursday that she saw two storm systems collide and some clouds swirling near her home.

She said she normally sees some interesting skies in her area when storms roll through, but “has never seen a vortex like this before.”

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The tornado struck, breaking several trees into a narrow swath after they crashed near a Farmington residence. The tornado then moved across railroad tracks and a cornfield before tearing a company’s metal roof as it headed toward South Du Pont Highway. It later crashed into a tree at a house off Hogtown Road and laid power lines along Hunting Quarter Road, the weather service said. The tornado weakened and lifted just west of Deep Grass Lane near Houston.

Five minutes later, a second twister from the same system landed east of Milford, near residences on Cedar Beach and McColley roads. It also carried estimated peak winds of 90 mph, but was twice the size of the earlier tornado at about 100 feet wide. It traveled nearly 5 miles in seven minutes and ended at Slaughter Beach.

The tornado cut down several trees and uprooted a few. It lifted part of a porch roof on Shockley Road, according to the weather service, and blew insulation over the road and on nearby homes. Along the path of the storm, a large branch of a tree fell on a barn and collapsed. Fallen branches also caused damage to vehicles.

Residents near the Mils and Shockley roads helped each other on Friday cut down fallen trees, clear debris and make repairs, although professionals were working on a handful of significantly damaged roofs.

“It sounded like a train,” said Jordan Watson, who took shelter with his family in his grandparents’ basement. “Before you know it, it was over.”

AFTERMATH: Neighbors help neighbors after possible tornado damage homes in Milford

East of Watson’s area, the tornado damaged barn roofs and caused the overturning of two closed trailers near Fannies Way before the storm lifted near the shoreline at Slaughter Beach.

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