Posted: Aug 1, 2013 9:55 PM by Meteorologist Mike Heard
Updated: Aug 2, 2013 9:19 AM
At approximately 3:45pm this afternoon, a powerful thunderstorm struck the Twin Bridges area. Trees were uprooted throughout the town and surrounding area. Some trees fell into structures severely damaging several historic buildings on and near Main Street. One of the buildings significantly damaged was the museum. An airport hangar was destroyed by strong winds and an Airstream trailer behind Frontier Realty was crushed by falling trees.
The Twin Bridges Fire Department, the Madison County Sheriff's Office, Northwestern Energy, numerous local volunteers and Madison County DES are working to restore basic services to the town.
A Northwestern Energy employee advised management officials that there were six 50 KV main line power poles that went down during the storm near the airport. He said it may be up to two days to repair the poles and power in the town will not be restored until the lines are re-established.
The town is completely without power and businesses in the area will be closed. Several hundred people may be without power in the area as well. A $40,000 aluminum grandstand was flipped over and destroyed at the Madison County Fairgrounds. There was damage throughout the fairgrounds property.
A resident arrived at the Fire Station Command Post and displayed a video of what clearly appeared to be a tornado in the area. He reported that he filmed the tornado during the storm. It is too early to verify if the video is an actual tornado or of a swirling wall cloud reaching the ground. It looked very much like a tornado to those that watched the video. The National Weather Service hopes to investigate the video tomorrow. The Weather Service also reported 90 miles per hour wind speeds recorded automatically by equipment in the area.
Residents are advised to protect perishables and prepare for more storms that are forecasted for early tomorrow morning.