YARMOUTH, Mass. — A tornado that tore across Cape Cod has put an exclamation mark on a wave of storms that broke the heat in the Northeast and Midwest.

High winds and one radar-confirmed tornado ripped off a hotel roof, downed trees that blocked roads, and knocked out power to thousands on Cape Cod on Tuesday during the peak of tourist season.

A tornado struck Yarmouth just after noon, according to the National Weather Service, which along with the state Emergency Management Agency sent a survey team to the scene to assess the damage and the tornado’s strength.

A wind gust of 90 mph was reported in Barnstable, according to the weather service.

There were no reports of injuries.

The Cape Sands Inn in Yarmouth was condemned by building inspectors after its roof was ripped off and deposited in the back of the building. Guests were being relocated to other hotels.

Utilities in New Jersey say around 212,000 homes and businesses didn’t have electricity Tuesday morning. Crews in Michigan were working to reconnect about 100,000 customers who still didn’t have power.

Videos posted on social media Monday night showed flooding deep enough to float cars in parts of New York City.

Flooding canceled flights through Tuesday afternoon at the Tweed-New Haven Airport in Connecticut, and a lightning strike set a dorm at private school Choate Rosemary Hall on fire.

In Yarmouth, Mass., Jason Couse, on vacation with his family, said he first noticed the roof rising up and down.

He told NBC Boston that the family “quickly ran to the bathtub and covered up and next thing I know, it started pouring in the house, pouring in the hotel.”

The manager came and brought them to the lobby.

Bruce and Diane Martin had checked into their room for a three-day getaway just minutes before the storm started, they told the Cape Cod Times.

Not five minutes after they had settled in, the inn’s flagpole had bent sideways and they watched as the wind lifted and carried the roof “in slow motion” into the backyard.

Tornado

Yarmouth, Massachusetts, fire crews look through the parts of the roof that blew off the Cape Sands Inn during high winds and a tornado that struck the community on Tuesday in West Yarmouth, Mass. Steve Heaslip/The Cape Cod Times via Associated Press

Harwich declared a state of emergency and police urged people to stay off the roads during the cleanup.

Electric utility Eversource reported about 50,000 power outages around the state, most on Cape Cod, with Chatham, Dennis and Harwich the hardest hit. More than 90% of customers in Harwich and Chatham lost power at one point.

 


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