BRIDGTON — Wild weekend weather leading up to the Fourth of July saw five different tornadoes touch down in the Lakes Region on July 1, causing damage and making history in the process.
According to the National Weather Service in Gray, the seven tornado warnings it issued last Saturday set a record for the region it covers – not just for one day, but for an entire year.
The weather service says that five separate tornadoes touched down in the area Saturday between 2:25 p.m. and 6:14 p.m. on Saturday.
Tornadoes are classified using the Enhanced Fujita (EF) Scale and rated F0 (weak)-F5 (violent). Based on information from the weather service in Gray, three of the tornadoes on Saturday were EF1s and the other two were EF0s.
The first tornado, the EF0, touched down over Sebago Lake just before 2:30 p.m. and flipped a pontoon boat and damaged some fencing. Based on the Fujita Scale, an EF0 has wind speeds between 65 and 85 mph.
The second tornado was an EF1 with winds up to 110 mph, which touched down near Moose Pond in Bridgton around 4:45 p.m., uprooting and snapping trees.
The third tornado struck on the Denmark side of Moose Pond around 6:10 p.m., and the weather service estimates that winds from the EF1 were as high as 95 mph.
The fourth tornado packed winds as high as 110 mph and was rated as a “high end EF1” based on the large trees it snapped. The weather service says it caused “extensive damage” on the southeast section of Highland Lake in Bridgton with some of the trees falling onto structures and vehicles. The tornado touched down around 6:15 p.m. Saturday.
The fifth tornado, and EF0, touched down near Otisfield around 6:35 p.m. where it downed power lines and caused a large pine tree to fall on a house, according to the weather service.
Cumberland County officials said that Route 302 in Bridgton was temporarily closed for part of Saturday from Route 93 to Knights Hill Road.
Matt Junker can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @MattJunker.
A map from the National Weather Service in Gray details the location and times of five tornados that touched down in the Lakes Region on Saturday, July 1.
Damage to trees and roads in Bridgton after a tornado touched down last Saturday evening.