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Wind topples trees, downs power lines, injures at least 1 in Middlebury

MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury police and firefighters, along with the Middlebury Regional EMS ambulance, were called to a Painter Road home on Friday afternoon after an apparent tornado toppled a tree onto a house, injuring a teenage boy.
The youngster was taken to Porter Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
An adult at a nearby home also reported minor injuries but declined to be transported to the hospital.
Middlebury authorities received a 911 call at about 1:54 p.m. on March 26. A Painter Road resident reported that her house had been damaged by a windstorm and her child injured as a result.
Police, fire and ambulance responded to the scene but were delayed by numerous downed trees and power lines that had been blown across the road, east of the village. 
Two neighboring houses sustained major wind damage.
The National Weather Service (NWS) classified the tornado as “EF-1,” and reported that winds reached 110 miles per hour in the twister.
“It’s weak on the scale of tornadoes. Still, very, very strong winds,” NWS meterologist Conor Lahiff told WCAX-TV.
NWS reported that the tornado formed above Juniper Lane, at the end of Painter Hills Road in Middlebury and traveled about a mile northeast crossing Painter Road and on into some fields and woodland.
Lahiff told WCAX that according to the weather service’s records dating back to the 1950s, tornadoes are very rare in Vermont. In fact, he said he believes only one other tornado has touched down in the Green Mountain State in the month of March since record-keeping started.
As news of the downed trees and damage came in, police closed Painter Road between Halpin Road and Munger Street while Green Mountain Power and Middlebury Department of Public Works crews removed fallen trees and power lines.
On area resident said her power was restored around 9 p.m.
State officials said they were ready to help Vermonters with insurance claims related to the storm.
“Our thoughts are with those Vermonters who were injured and experienced damage to their homes and property as a result of the severe weather that swept through the state,” said Michael Pieciak, commissioner of the Department of Financial Regulation (DFR) in a press release. “We stand ready to assist Vermonters with their insurance claims as they cleanup and rebuild from these storms.”
DFR encourages Vermonters who experienced property damage to do the following:
• Notify your insurance agent and company as soon as possible to begin filing a claim.
• Take photos of the damaged property.
• Save samples of damaged material, such as carpeting, curtains and upholstery.
• Secure your property from further damage. After speaking with your insurer and photographing damage, take action to prevent further damage by covering broken windows, damaged walls, or leaking roofs, but do not make permanent repairs. Your insurance company should inspect the property and estimate the cost of permanent repairs.
• Be safe when moving in and around damaged property.
• Make a list of the damage and keep receipts to document the cost of repairs or replacement.
• Contact your insurance company again if an adjuster has not been assigned to you within several days.
Vermonters are encouraged to contact the Department’s consumer services team if they have any questions or issues call 1-800-964-1784 or email [email protected].
More information is online at dfr.vermont.gov.
 

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