Waterbury Tornado – Today in History: May 24

On May 24, 1962, a tornado hit the towns of Waterbury, Wolcott, and Southington. One person was killed by a falling tree and at least 39 others were injured. The Hartford Courant reported that the twister, which hit around 5:30 pm, left a path of destruction two hundred yards wide and three miles long. The storm proved so powerful that it actually threw the roof of the Waterville Lumber Company on to Route 8 and badly damaged the home of local resident Wendell McKennerney (whose house, built in 1790, withstood nearly 200 years of New England hurricanes and nor’easters). The storm damaged forty-six homes in all, as well as numerous commercial establishments. Later that evening, Waterbury Mayor Edward Bergin asked for assistance from National Guard troops to discourage looting. Shortly after, two companies of soldiers and a transportation unit arrived to help keep the peace.

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