WEBSTER (CBS) – The National Weather Service confirmed that a tornado hit the central Massachusetts town of Webster Saturday morning.
Photos: Webster Tornado Damage
A Tornado Warning was issued for parts of Worcester County around 9:30 a.m. and was later expanded to Middlesex County as severe thunderstorms rolled through the area.
Webster was hit the hardest. The town, which is about 18 miles south of Worcester near the Connecticut state line, is now littered with downed trees and power lines. There are also several shattered windows and many houses and businesses lost electricity.
Residents said there wasn’t much time to think.
“It was just coming through. It went through fast. It was loud. The house was shaking,” said Sandra Troyse. “A lot of wind. A strong wind coming through, and it was like a burst.”
Pam Billett described a harrowing scene and how she tried to get her children to a safe place.
“Just to get the kids safe somewhere in the house, because it was going so fast, the wind, that I didn’t have time to really figure out where to put the kids,” she said. “As soon as I saw the screen fly off the window, I just said, ‘Everybody, get into the bathroom’ and my kids were screaming.”
About 32 people were forced out of their homes because of the damage, which is most significant on Main Street near the Dudley town line, according to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency. The American Red Cross is providing housing assistance to displaced residents.
Related: Webster Tornado: How It Happened
One woman suffered minor injuries when part of a roof fell on top of a car, said Webster Fire Chief Brian Hickey. She was treated and released from an area hospital.
“So they were driving down the main street when the tornado came through. So the roof of this first building came off, and it landed on the second and third building, and part of it landed on top of her car, said Hickey.
There is structural damage to at least four buildings in town. At least two buildings were demolished. Building owner Lou Perrin described the scene as a “war zone.”
“Looks like a war zone. The roof from the building here,on that building, and all the brick blew onto my building, causing it structurally to be unsound so it has to be torn down,” Perrin said.
“I’m just happy I’m alive,” he added.
MEMA said three buildings have been condemned and as many as five are now “uninhabitable.” The National Weather Service said it’s still too early to know the exact strength, path and length of the tornado. The agency later confirmed a separate tornado touched down in Woodstock, Connecticut. They’re also assessing damage in Dudley.
The Webster twister is the third tornado in southern Worcester County in the last two weeks.
WATCH: Raw Aerial Drone Video Of Tornado Damage
The Red Cross set up a shelter at the senior center in Webster for anyone who needs assistance. At the peak of the storms, more than 9,000 customers lost power in Massachusetts, most of them in Webster and Dudley.