NOAA Confirms Microburst / Straight Line Winds up to 100 MPH in July 7 Storm

A gaggle of news crews gathered on Bedford Common to hear the National Weather Service report on the July 7 storm. Image (c) Nancy Daugherty, 2014
A gaggle of news crews gathered on Bedford Common to hear the National Weather Service report  its findings about the July 7 storm. Image (c) Nancy Daugherty, 2014

Compiled by The Bedford Citizen

After a survey of Bedford’s damage, the National Weather Service said that a powerful microburst with winds that reached 90 to 100 miles per hour hit parts of Bedford at 5:40 pm on Monday, July 7.  While there was significant damage to trees and structures, there were no injuries or fatalities.

Editor’s Note: For reference: A microburst is a sudden downrush of air from a severe thunderstorm causing a concentrated damage swath that is up to 2.5 miles long. Straight line winds are generally any wind that is not associated with rotation. The term microburst is used mainly to differentiate straight line from tornadic winds.

From the National Weather Service

According to NOAA, the path of the storm was one-half mile wide, and extended for two and a half miles, traveling a northwest to southeast path. According to NOAA, this storm information is preliminary and subject to change, pending final review of the event and publication in the annals of National Weather Service  storm data.

The National Weather Service would like to thank the Bedford Public Works Director, the Fire Chief and Town Manager for assisting with the damage survey. We would also like to thank our skywarn amateur radio coordinators and spotters for all of their timely reports and photos.

Approximately 50 to 70 trees were blown down. Most were healthy pine trees that were 100 feet tall. The trees were blown down…snapped at least half way up…or uprooted. Approximately 8 trees fell onto houses causing significant damage. On Hilltop Drive and Hemlock Lane alone more than two dozen pine trees were knocked down.

A local perspective from Fire Chief David Grunes

Bedford’s Fire Chief David Grunes added via an email message that the hardest hit area was in the Hemlock Lane, Hilltop Drive and Wilson Road area; along Fletcher and Paul Revere Roads; and on North Road, between Lane Farm and Pine Hill Road.

Approximately 10 trees fell on houses, multiple vehicles were damaged by falling limbs, and damage from a Pine Hill Road house fire related to an electrical surge was contained to a closet and wall in one room. Downed trees on Pine Hill Road and across the resident’s driveway obstructed firefighters’ access; to reach the fire they had to stretch 700’ of fire hose over downed trees.

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8 years ago

Thank you to the town and the utilities for opening the streets as soon as you could! We appreciate your hard work.

8 years ago

This article must be underestimating tree fall. There are a total of 25-30 on 3 lots on Hilltop alone but they are in back and on the sides of the lots.

Alethea Yates
Alethea Yates
8 years ago

Amazing that nobody was injured!

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