Tornado Warnings Issued For Vermont; Storms Cause Fires In Barre

05/29/12 4:04PM

AP/Toby Talbot
Firefighters work at a structure fire on Waterman St. in Barre Tuesday morning. Firefighters from throughout central Vermont converged on the city of Barre where three fires were reported in homes within minutes of each other.

 

The National Weather Service issued tornado warnings Tuesday afternoon for parts of Vermont, meaning a funnel cloud had been spotted either on radar or in the sky.

The Weather Service says there have been no reports of tornadoes touching down. Meteorologist Jason Nielson says tornado warnings are unusual in Vermont.

"It's been over a year that we've had one issued," Nielson said. "On average Vermont gets about one a year."

Neilson says the storm that was warned for the possible tornado was moving through southern Orleans County, and it is moving east into northern Caledonia and central and southern portions of Essex County.

There have been strong thunderstorms throughout the region since last night. Authorities say they believe lightning strikes were responsible for three house fires in the space of a few minutes outside downtown Barre.

Mayor Tom Lauzon says he was impressed with the support from neighboring fire departments.

"We did call in mutual aid from Montpelier and Berlin and there are volunteer departments and full-time departments from probably six or seven municipalities from as far away as Calais."

Authorities say no one was hurt in the fires.

The National Weather Service says the storms are likely to continue into the evening. There's also a flash flood warning in effect until tonight for an area from Barre to Randolph to White River Junction.

For up to the minute updates on the storms and tornado warnings, check the National Weather Service here.

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tornado_warning weather barre fire mutual_aid environment
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