May 25, 2018
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Tornadoes suspected in South Paris, Sabattus

The Associated Press

AUBURN, Maine — What observers say had all the markings of a tornado ripped through western Maine on Saturday evening, leaving uprooted trees and downed power lines in its wake.

Rachel Barcelou of Auburn told the Sun Journal of Lewiston that the twister sounded like a freight train roaring through. Barcelou said she watched as a tree from next door was uprooted and knocked down on her house.

An Oxford County Sheriff’s Department deputy spotted a funnel cloud in South Paris, and another funnel was seen by a woman in Sabattus, who said it was headed toward the Maine Turnpike.

The National Weather Service in Gray had yet to confirm a tornado touching down in the area, but meteorologist Butch Roberts said conditions were ripe for twisters just as weak atmospheric disturbances came through.

On Friday, officials with the National Weather Service in Caribou confirmed that a tornado was responsible for tree damage in the Shin Pond area in Penobscot County on Wednesday evening.

The tornado was confirmed four to six miles northwest of Shin Pond between 5:06 and 5:14 p.m., according to Mark Bloomer, a meteorologist with the NWS Caribou office.

An NWS storm survey team traveled to the area to investigate damage caused by “a strong rotating thunderstorm” and found numerous downed and snapped trees. Several trees were more than 20 inches in diameter and 100 feet tall. A few trees were snapped near their base.

Additional data confirmed the damage was caused by a tornado.

BDN writer Jen Lynds contributed to this report.

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