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Connecticut Tornado of 1989

Connecticut Tornado of 1989
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Over in Bantam, Donna Deering looked out the window of her house on Cathole Road, stared into sudden darkness, and heard the wind roar so loud she couldn’t think, except to grab her year-old son Charles and back off. As she did, a 25-year-old oak snapped in two, and the top of it crashed onto the porch, a scant few inches away from the window.

“I prayed,” she said. “I prayed that we’d be all right, and we were.”

Moments later the heart of town lay in ruin.

At their 270-acre farm off East Cornwall Road, just over the town line in Goshen, Steve Kubish, his sister Mary, and their hired man, Dave Sterling, went indoors when the hard rain fell and thunder started to roll.

“It was extremely dark,” he said, “and the thunder never stopped, just kept on loud and real steady-like. The wind blew the glass right out of some of the windows. None of us was hurt, but things in the house started blowing around pretty good.

“The rain started blowing in, and then it was coming down through the kitchen ceiling. There was a lot of tin on the roof, and it blew that off. The woodhouse off the kitchen, it ripped that roof right off, rafters and everything.

“It was getting a little lighter, so I ran upstairs to get a look out on the yard. The chicken house was blown away, and the barn was knocked flat. With the addition we put on it, the barn was 120 feet long. We’ve got beef cows and pigs and goats and sheep, so we all rushed right out.

“A cow and bull in the barn were dead,” Kubish said, “and a cow and bull outside were dead, and Albert, my old white billy goat, he’d been blown into the side of the barn where we keep the winter supply of hay. He was pinned upside down with a beam on top of his head, a 12″-by-12″ oak beam that went the length of the barn. I got my chain saw and cut it away, but the three of us still had a devil of a time lifting it off him.

“He got to his feet and just stood there,” Kubish said. “Albert was all right, but it was very, very close.”

Herbert Lape got into his new white, four-wheel-drive Toyota wagon in West Cornwall and set out to pick up his wife Madeline, who was working at the town hall 3-1/2 miles away down in the village.

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